Jumbled words are probably going to pour out of this exercise, which I am approaching with some trepidation. I am someone who plans their life, who feels the need to control what is happening and I haven’t got a plan on what I am going to write about here, but here goes.
Life and death have been in my thoughts a lot lately, partly because the last of my grownups as I think of them passed away in the last month, and it would have been her 95th birthday on the 4th, two days ago. It is also to do with the fact that I am now in my 69th year which was the same age that my father passed away in. I don’t have a sense that I am about to die any time real soon though but there is more of my life to look back on than to look forward to if that makes any sense. I am having to let go of the notion that there is all this to do in front of me. Well there is I guess but my time options are limited.
I don’t think I’m scared of death but I would prefer not to linger on in decrepit old age but if that is my fate then so be it. I have the lessons of yinyang to sustain my belief that there is a cycle to everything and I must be reaching the peak of one of the cycles and heading into the start of the next, whatever that might be.
This is ok to be disassociated writing isn’t it?
The choices facing me are to clean up my affairs so that I can get into a position that will allow me to enjoy what time I have left with whatever faculties and conditions I may be in. I long to really concentrate on finding my voice through writing. I love finishing a piece and setting it free. Hence my taking up this course opportunity, to build up a practice of writing regularly, of making it a priority in my life, and how hard should it be to find another 20 minute block each day to just sit down and write.
Funny thing about the 20 minutes we have been assigned for this piece. I meditate most days and the way I have been taught is to meditate for 20 minutes. There is something about the 20 minute period I guess, a third of an hour and I know the world loves threes, the trinity in everything. For meditation it seems to be an ideal time, long enough for you to settle your thoughts and get into the depth of it. I remember when I first started meditating I found the time requirement a real problem and kept looking at my watch frequently to see how much time I had left, it seemed to take forever to complete the 20 minutes. Now I sometimes resent the timer going off at that mark and want to keep going. But of course I then start on with what I have to get on to in the day, the pets are waiting for breakfast, I am waiting for breakfast, all that minutiae of a day.
I had an interesting experience this morning in meditation. I was focussing on my breath and the thought rolls in, “I wonder what my last breath will be like” and just then the timer went off to signal the end of the mediation. Talk about timing, it did get my day started with a laugh.
I was going to say earlier but got off subject, that I am ok with accepting that my body will expire and return to nature one way or another. What I am curious about though is whether there really is a spirit of some sorts that continues on and the pragmatist in me finds that difficult to accept but the realist also finds that there are all manner of knowledge, facts, ways of being, that are almost certainly beyond the limited capacity that these feeble human brains are capable of ascertaining.
So I am starting to stay open to the fact that a spirit of some sort is there and is the energy connection that keeps this bag of puss and piss, as the Tibetans call the body, functioning and the departure of which is the point of death.
** Stace says: This is my day 1 assignment on the Writing 101 course run by WordPress. The prompt was: Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write. The twist: Publish this stream-of-consciousness post on your blog.
Very interesting and thought provoking piece, dealing with some very big themes and ideas. I like how frank and honest you are with talking about death and I am sorry for your recent loss. The idea that all we are is temporary and that one day we return to where we came is an interesting one, and provided me with some much needed reflection today. Thank you and keep on writing.
Damn, it ended! Sir, your writing is really good. I got totally involved into it, and didn’t even realise when the article actually was over. And about death and life? I am scared of death, probably because I have seen losing my closed ones at an early age? I donno, even I keep thinking about what do I have to look back when I am on my death bed? But the question remains unanswered , perhaps, I didn’t achieve anything that great yet! 🙂
Hmmnnn, thoughtful post Mike. It’s great that you are so honest about your feelings. If I’m honest, I’m freaked out by the idea of leaving this world, even if there is something after it. But I think it’s something that I’ll get used to as old time marches on!
Hi, Mike, a very interesting post and one that struck a lot of chords with me, as thoughts about life and death are also on my mind, due to my heart condition. Thank you for writing so honestly, and I am sorry for your loss.
Hi Mike, I’m ten years your junior but the thoughts you mention have been prevalent in my mind since I became the oldest living person in our family. My wife lost her parents many years ago and “adopted” my mother when we met up about 16 years ago. My Mum passed on 3 years ago and Wifey misses her as much as I do. So now we are both “parentless”, there no longer is that reassuring voice at the end of the line that is always on your side, no longer a house you can run to or a door you can knock on at any time of the day or night. Damn it I miss those old folk!
Ah Mark that was very touching. I read it out to my wife and we both were in tears. Yes there is a real loneliness in becoming “the grownup”.
Really like the pragmatic way that you’ve approached your writing and these topics. We share similar values. I used to be afraid of death, but now I see each one of us as energy. Consequently, energy never “dies”; it just transforms…or so I think. Great writing.
Transforms a good word for it, everything is change