I haven’t been here for a bit. When I started this blog, it was to try and cure a case of writer’s block, and I’ve used it for that many times. But I promised myself when I began it that blogging would be something I did with pleasure and joy. If that meant blogging, I would, and if it meant not blogging, then I would not. I have been true to that, which makes me happy. My not being here now, I think, really shows how thoroughly invested in and engaged by my current creative process I am, and that too makes me very happy.
But I went to a funeral today, and it’s compelled me to share what’s on my mind. My whole week thus far has been one vivid, powerful reminder that life is short, and that it should be joyful—or at least that a life lived in joy with people that fill you up is the best kind of life to live, the only kind of life that really makes much sense.
In the wee small dark rainy hours of Saturday morning I was woken by a bang that shook the house. Two young girls, college students who’d had too much to drink—just kids—had crashed outside. It wasn’t at all good for the passenger, but she was conscious and I held her and spoke to her while we waited for help to arrive. Some few shocked, sickening, sleepless hours later, I had a joy-filled day with friends, one of the most special and fun in a very long time. The contrast was stark.
Then Monday, I learned of the death the night before of a family friend, Mark Jarvis, whom I’m so pleased to have known and shared a little time with. After some years battling cancer, which he tackled with a loud and enormous guffawing sense of humor and joyful spirit, he passed away quite unexpectedly after knee construction surgery. The very next day I heard about the passing of Bean Bowers, one of my NOLS instructors some years ago, and you can get a sense of the kind of guy he was here. Then today, as I got ready for Mark’s funeral, I saw the news about Steve Jobs, which seems to have infected the Interwebs with a profound sense of joy and live-life-loudly and go-for-it-no-matter-what attitude. This is just how I think of Mark Jarvis and Bean Bowers. They were just those kind of people, too.
It’s all such a good reminder. You’re a long time dead. And life is AMAZING. It can be whatever you want it to be. It is whatever you think it is, and so are you. Fill it with those who help you soar. Choose what brings you joy. Write, if that’s what you want to do. Why the hell not?
"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way...to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose." —Steve Jobs