Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Do Be Do Be Do

Two years ago today I held the hand of a dying man and confirmed for him that he was, in fact, dying. If he could be brave enough to ask, I had to find the courage to answer truthfully. It's an understatement to say that it was a defining moment. It was, far and away, the very worst moment of my life. Anything that came before and since pales in the face of that particular moment.

In truth, we are all dying every minute of every day. We were born to die. That's the gloriously vicious cycle of life. Some of us die young, some die at a ripe old age. But just like being born, dying is an experience that none of us gets to defy. At some point, something is going to take all of us out. It's the quality of the experience between being born and dying that matters - not the quantity. I once spoke with a rather feisty gal who was battling stage four metastatic breast cancer who said, "Fuck cancer. I'm dying to live!"

It's difficult to realize the impetus to live well if you haven't been through the experience of watching someone die. Still, I would encourage everyone not just to live, but live well. We can survive or we can thrive. We may not be able to make the moments last, but we can make the moments count. Even the most mundane task can have a simple beauty to it. My neighbor likes to say, "All my days are good days... even the lousy ones."

and in the morning, when I rise
one question, that feels like the sun in my eyes
am I making the most of this life?

~Brett Dennen, Make the Most

blessed is this life
and I'm gonna celebrate being alive

~Brett Dennen, Blessed

Do. Celebrate. Sing. Dance. Cry. Laugh. Whisper. Rant. Hug. Smile. Wonder. Grieve. Watch. Listen. Love. Explore. Dream. Do. Be. Be kind, be gentle, be willing, be fierce, be tenacious, be real, be joyful, be friendly, be loving, be curious, be conscious. Be.

Do. Be. Do. Be. Do. How hard is that to remember?

Make the most of it.

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