Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mortality

February has been rather quiet I suppose. Frozen, snowy, and when not frozen, muddy. Hard to get much done except the stuff required to stay warm. Oh, we did have two nice days -- they were so welcome. I've thought a lot of thoughts, of course, always do, and continued to watch the economy and the country collapse and be amazed by the denial involved in that.

A girlfriend that I grew up with was found dead in bed the other day. My age. No pre-existing conditions, just had had some stomach flu for a couple days. And not that I'd seen her in 30 years. But still.

Both of my parents died in the last decade, my dad ten years ago this year, my mom two and a half years ago.

So you pull a carrot from the ground, or you chop the head off a cabbage, or you hold a chicken in your arms and it is warm and breathing and then you chop its head off and pluck it and turn it all into dinner: That's how mortality is. Not dramatic. Death scenes are not romantic or heroic; they might be rattling or they might catch you off-guard but they are really daily, like what's-for-supper.

So we die.

But how do we live?

That's the question that I keep coming back to again and again. It isn't a mortality dependent thing. There is no bucket list to complete. But there are questions that include -- are you honorable? and, well, are you honorable. I mean, it is such a trick question, isn't it? I'm not much of a one for dichotomies, but is one more concerned with superficialities or depth? Has one, in one's life, produced more useful stuff than he has consumed? Has one kept one's promises? Done what he has said he would do?

When I think of my children, what do I want for them and how am I providing that? I want them to know how to live with a sense of abundance, but also know how to live small, where abundance is easier. I want them to be able to pursue whatever it is they are interested in, but also be able to support themselves. I want them to know that the secrets of life include butter and not being suckered into debt. I want them to know they are loved beyond any doubting and that they always have each other.

We provide that by, hopefully, living that.

6 comments:

annetteinalaska said...

I do so love you.

CG said...

and I am so very glad of that. Life is full of questions and I don't think we can answer them but I think we have to try.

Wendy said...

"...secrets of life include butter and not being suckered into debt."

I love this line. True ... so true!

We've been duped for too many years into believing that butter is bad for us and highly processed, butter-flavored oil (a.k.a. margarine) is a better choice, AND that borrowing against the future is the way to live the present.

We've been told wrong on both accounts, and I love that you're working to change those lessons in your little corner of the world.

Change happens one voice at a time, right?

CG said...

well, I don't think I've influenced very many people I actually know. One even ran screaming from my presence saying that peak oil had made me crazy! But maybe change happens. Maybe.

Bill Shakesbeer said...

The purest treasure mortal times afford, is spotless reputation; that away, men(and women)are but gilded loam or painted clay.

Alan said...

Death is there in every breath, every moment. Living with that knowledge helps one live NOW. Treasure the moments. They are what life is made of.