Sunday, January 13, 2013

Just Live!

When I wrote my silly little post on Facebook the other day I knew it would never truly carry the context or the totality of my thought.   It was a quick blurb to communicate what I was thinking at that instant to the world.  I was standing outside grilling some meet for dinner and drinking a glass of merlot, my normal Friday routine.  It was cold and very clear.  I looked up at a single star in particular, thinking how small my little planet is from that star's viewpoint (we're probably not even visible, like our problems).   I thought about all of the drama, arguments, and worries that people have.  There are tons of things that people are consumed with every day at work, at home, in our town, within our culture, society, and planet.   Many people are so consumed and absorbed with all of this drama, that they lose perspective to the big picture.  In fact, they spend so much time doing this that at times they forget to just live.  

Some people are so wrapped up in their drama they can't drop it, or extricate themselves from it.  It becomes a security blanket to which they are afraid to put down.  It could be a political agenda (tons of those in the news today), societal issue (even more), or some other agenda or cause.  The drama becomes their life, like a Shakespeare play.  

In reality we are seeds, dirt, sunshine, plants and other material before we are conceived and born.  After birth, we then harvest energy, do our thing, plant seeds for babies, and eventually, we go back to to the dirt.  It's kind of like the plant in front of your home (weeds for me).  They arrive via a seed, consume water and nutrients, grow into a machine that converts these things into an object that harvests the energy that comes from our star.  It uses the energy to create more seeds, then dies.  When it dies, it decomposes back into the dirt (unless I have time to rake it up).  At the end, all of the energy of the dead plant is used by bugs and the next seeds that will grow (hopefully in my neighbor's yard).   We are the same, plant and human, yet I think the plant can have a wonderful life without without all the drama.  It lives in reality it's entire existence.  It just lives.

Maybe now that I'm getting older, I'm feeling my own mortality and thus I'm driven to spend more time in reality.  I know Steve Jobs was more focused after he had his first brush with the cancer judge.  It's more than that for me though.  After listening to Steve and others, I've spent some time trying to quiet the maelstrom of drama in my mind and feel what it's like to just be here...  Really here.  I eat my breakfast, pet the cat, go to work and press the button.  I try to be less selfish with my time and spend more with my kids.  Just live.

Just Live.  These two words were brought into sharp focus today after visiting a friend of mine at his house.  He's been handed a verdict by the cancer judge, and has very little time left.  These two words are exactly what he's doing right now as best he can.  I don't know for certain, but I think he takes each moment that he can and savors it, then enters the next moment.  His only complaint at the time was he was tired all the time.  I think that might be frustrating for a guy who's trying to be awake so that he can just live and savor what life he has left.  I know it would be for me.  

So I my suggestion to my Facebook followers was to take some time and forget the drama of Obama, gun control, gay marriage, global warming and global domination and just live.  Smell the roses, weeds, wine and cat poop.  Just live.  Watch the grass move with the wind, and smoke rise from the burning meat on the grill.  Just live.  That's what I was doing at the time and it was fantastic.  

-- Chris Claborne

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