Monday, April 28, 2014

short life

Life is short, the end comes quick,
so walk life's field,
filled with every option,
and be wise to pick
the good stuff.

Better steps, more gracious phrases,
more standing up for other's places,
empty viles and empty hateds,
full-hand, full-heart, whole embraces.

Draw your lines in sand and stone,
keep the stronger ones around your home;
the softer lines can bend and sway
around opinions, rightness, angst;
but strong home walls defend your own.

Remove your heart's walls once you've grown,
see the rivers, valleys, lakes;
see Life's field,
filled with every option,
and be wise to pick
the good stuff.

© afterthoughtcomposer

Premonition is an odd experience. The hairs on your arms raise up, heat forms on the back of your neck, and you...snap a photo of that beloved one, take a different route to work, make that phone call. You don't realize it until later (and how could you, with sanity, realize it before), but that was the last picture taken of him; you avoided an accident, probably; that conversation was the last you'd have. Premonition is an odd experience, a bizarre gift, a bloody miracle. Especially when we're talking about life and death.

Admittedly, conversations about death always give me brain fog and shrinking lung capacity. I get so nervous that this topic, Life Is Short, is coming at me because my life, or a loved one's, will be short. Someone brings the ideas forward, we commune around the same table of awe and sadness, and my insides sit in a silent, forboding revery: I am suddenly very aware of the thin glass floor beneath our feet, houses, cars.

Life is short. I can hear the second hand, pulsing through my life.

Since I was young, very young, in fact, I have assumed that my life would be short. Perhaps it can all be linked to my naive paranoia, my wholehearted convincetude that God is more interested in cheating me out of old age than letting me experience it (because I really, really want to live for a long time). Regardless, and because of whatever motivates me, I am usually attaching weight to circumstances that others might pass over. For me, premonition is oft' confused with my own special mix of superstition and religious confusion.

But on the flip side, I have had some genuinely odd experiences. I have taken that photo. I've skipped my normal route to see smoke on the other hillside (though, that last sentence is a metaphor for what actually happened). Graciously, I've never had that phone call, though I know of some who have. And for what? The lengthening of my own life, the capturing of another? What makes one moment more significant than the previous? And which is more potent than the last? How are we to know in advance? There are so many questions, too many perhaps, but life is so full of questions you could fill a life just by asking. I digress; I'll make statements instead.

The antidote for my anxiety seems to be found in statements, anyway. Statements like, "I love you," or "I'm listening," or "Welcome." Soaking the soul in life's beauty tends to have a calming effect. I can not control life, and my arms are too small to carry everything. Instead I'll stay open to whatever I can hold, and be ready to bask in the greatness of whatever I can't. Why do I get to have this child in my arms, this Love in my heart, this strong hand in mine? Why do I get to feel the sun's heat on my face, see the horizon, behold it's mystery? I don't know, but I'll sink myself into it, anyway. Life may be short, but my God, is it ever sweet.

photo source: heavilyblunted

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