I'm trying to tell you something about my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
The best thing you've ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously, it's only life after all
Well darkness has a hunger that's insatiable
And lightness has a call that's hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it,
I'm crawling on your shore.
I went to the doctor,
I went to the mountains
I looked to the children,
I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.
I have been blessed with ample opportunity to consider the life laid before me and ponder, and review. But mostly, be thankful.
Social conscience tap on shoulder - "Ah, such bourgeoisie is this. I can afford to consider, without fear of reprisal. I choose, and others listen, and acquiesce or disagree lawfully." But, self-aspersions and personal world-issues related guilt aside....Of life's basics, my food is ready, willing and available. My shelter, present. Love, same.
After some reflection on some larger-than-me things this past few weeks, I come to this.
Life is a gift. A gift of time, love. What are we without those we love and who love us back? Not so much. Husks. Consumers of things we do not need.
I find excellent examples in my personal here and now.
I live in a high-density neighbourhood. We are arse-to-elbow in other people's lives. We see their garbage. We know ther weekly routines. But....do we notice when our elderly neighbour Laszlo (who chose this idyllic and safe life over Hungarian civil war 50 yrs ago) does not put out his green bin? Do we knock and make sure?
Do we notice when the neighbours are away, because we no longer hear their lively dinner parties, replete with arguing affable teenagers, visitors from foreign places, dogs and babies, and seniors, carousing in the world's tiniest backyard?
I choose. I choose to. In fact, I would miss it. I want to know if Ivor's garden is providing the same volume of potatoes, despite elevation differences from my own. What does he do to propagate his seedling trees? I want to know when Tess' broken collar bone mends...since we are neighbours and colleagues and friends, and the tendrils from one area connect to another. In fact, we both rely on the same Queen Lenora of Duvernet Ave. but for different things. Mostly, her kindness and humour.
Such is the fabric of life - after all.
My second mum, Thelma, is dying. She has terminal cancer. She was in a coma on Tuesday past, but now has recovered enough to have short but effective fits of barbed wit. At times during my youth and adolescence, I was resentful of her meddling and advice. I already had enough advice, thank you. But, I realize now, too late for her, but hopefully not for me, that this was her imparting knowledge of life to me. What she knew. What connected her to my mother and my family.
I will miss her. I do already. But as Morrie Schwartz said - from learning how to die, we learn how to live.
Thelma, we salute you. xo