Alive!

We are alive. Woo hoo!! :) What an awesome, amazing privilege & blessing!!

I had the oddest thought the other day. (Of course there is a plentitude of odd thoughts parading through this busy head of mine :) )

It was this:

It only matters what we do while we’re alive!

This sounds a little … self-evident, I know.

But it’s also kind of … bracing.

I get the impression that some of us are putting off living – really living – for “later.”

But later might come down the pike sooner than we think.

I think it would be best, wisest, for all of us to live fully now.

While we’re alive.

Full out. With energy. Enthusiasm. Generosity. Passion.

We can’t take our energy & enthusiasm to the grave with us (as far as we know, anyway).

This we do know for sure. We for sure can’t take our things, or our bank accounts (quick question to ponder: do you own your possessions…or do they own you?).

I’ve quoted this one before, but I think it bears repeating: “Life engenders life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.” (Sarah Bernhardt, actress, 1844-1923).

Life is becoming more & more uncertain & unsettling here on Planet Earth. Economies are crashing. Politics/politicians more & more absurd, dangerous & out of touch. Wars & “religious” violence/intolerance rampant. The rape & pillage & pollution of the natural world, of course, ever-accelerating. Scary storms/typhoons/etc. “the new normal.” (Climate change is scary. Full-on scary.)

There is really no guarantee that “the future” will be a long one. Near-term extinction could be nearer than we think. As one book puts it, the party is over.

So what are we waiting for??

Janet

p.s. I am not waiting. I do what I love, & I love what I do. I love this beautiful world, & there are lots of people I care about. I like spending time with them. I do. I am generous with my energy & impulses & charitable donations. I know I can’t take it with me. I am enjoying this party, this life, now.

p.p.s. writing is one of the things that makes me feel alive

p.p.p.s. I drafted this on a nice day while I was on my way, on the train, to a meeting I was more or less dreading. Durham Nuclear Health Committee. (Now there’s an oxymoron for you, eh??) Predictably, the meeting & plenty of the bilge spewed there made me feel a little sick (also angry). But I spoke up, & asked questions, & called the bullshit, & so did some other residents of nuclear plant-dominated Durham Region (east of Toronto, Ontario). That felt good. It’s all about the people, you know. The people & this stunning planet we’re on here. Alive!! (Alive & also grateful.)

p.s. # 4: when my kids were little, about a million years ago now, I came across the books of American writer/illustrator Bill Peet. We loved his stories. One of the ones I own a copy of is The Wump World. Peet & Dr. Seuss were on the same page about the way the world was headed – & they were both writing decades ago now. I get a chuckle every time I think of the picture of “the Pollutians” – the two-legged critters busily trashing the Wump world. Peet (& Seuss) had the whole thing nailed way back in 1970. I only wish they had called it wrong…

p.s. # 5: off to a protest later today. Protesting is good for you! (Would I lie to you??)

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein (more Einstein quotes here in ‘Quotation Central!’ section.

A few other that spring to mind:

“Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries.” ~ Corita Kent, artist

“The inner fire is the most important thing mankind possesses.” – Edith Sodergran, Scandinavian poet

“Hoard each joyous moment that comes to you. No one knows how it will all end.” – Háfiz

“Just to live is holy. To be is a blessing.” – Rabbi Abraham Heschel

“Each day we are born again to start our life anew. What we do today is what matters most.” ~ Buddha

“Be truthful, gentle and fearless.” – Gandhi

“4 Rules for Life: Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. Don’t be attached to the results.” Angeles Arrien, U.S. teacher, author (1940 – )

“I imagine there’s probably so much quiet where you are when you’re cold and dead, you might as well say how crazy you are about people while you have a mouth and teeth and tongue.” ~ Fictional character Ruth, in The Book of Ruth, by Jane Hamilton

“Truth is the only safe ground to stand on.” Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“Once you know the difference between right and wrong, you have lots fewer decisions to make.” – Joseph Campbell, quoted in the fascinating biography A Fire in the Mind – The Life of Joseph Campbell by Stephen and Robin Larsen [more J. Campbell quotes]

“What magnifies a voice is its human character, its compassion, honesty, and intelligence, and against the weight of things as they are the best resource is the imaginative labor of trying to tell the truth.” – Lewis Lapham, Harper’s Magazine [more truth quotes]

“When in doubt, speak the truth.” – Mark Twain [more MT quotes]

“The world is too dangerous for anything but truth, and too small for anything but love.” – William Sloane Coffin