What is this thing we call life?
I have always found the 35 minute summation of a person at their funeral to somewhat inadequate. I know we can’t sit for hours listening to recollections and memorable moments from each person there, but there is something that just doesn’t quite fit.
How do you adequately condense a life?
Perhaps it’s because I have had more cause than normal in this past year to be reflecting on my own life that such thoughts arise more frequently now.
Letting our minds freewheel along with only the vaguest notion of anything other than the information being projected into them from external sources is a very dangerous practice if continued long term. As much as anyone I and understand how essential it is to let our minds loose to run unencumbered like a horse released from bridle and saddle for periods of recovery.
However, living continually in this state is the reason why so many of us drift through our years with little or no thoughts higher than tabloid culture.
The opposite of this is the mind that rattles and grinds continually, chewing over hurts, disappointments, grief and potential disasters. This too is extremely unhealthy as I will readily testify. Being focussed and driven for extended periods with little or no respite leads to mental exhaustion and eventual collapse.
The hardest thing to achieve in this life and maintain is a place of balance; we are, as a species, given to excess of every type.
In one sense it is the swinging of the pendulum from side to side that as we learn that balance in each area of our lives that makes our journey interesting. The thought of a beige colourless existence drives me crazy.
As I write this my friend is challenging the beige brigade who are trying to dumb down and water down Christmas to nothing more than a holiday with food and gifts. I have no doubt that this will only increase within public organisations as commitees harumf away anything that is vaguely challenging.
When it comes time for our lives to be remembered I would hope that those attending would be able to recall a person who stood for something.
Not everyone will change laws or overthrow despotic governments but we all have the ability to make people feel noticed and appreciated.
That girl who knows your coffee order all year and makes it just as you like it, any person in our lives that we are grateful for will be uplifted just by us telling them. These are the things in life that we take for granted or just plain old miss altogether. I was going to title this Tapestry, because our lives are made up of moments sown into days, weeks, months and years. They are shot through with people who make our lives what they are and we can just let it all blend into a soup of boredom if we are not engaging with these moments.
If you have been reading these blogs for the last few months you will have been on this journey with me as I have learned to re-engage with my own life. It has not been easy and the journey is far from over but it has begun.
I watched James Stewart in the classic movie the other week and it reinforced what I have been learning; we all fill a spot that nobody else can.
Without you the world is less than it should be!