By Jane Bauer
“After my death, the molecules of my being will return to the earth and sky. They came from the stars. I am of the stars.”
How much time do you have left and what are you going to do with it? We live in a self-important era, where every opinion must be weighed against the cultural mainstream. A time when every kid gets a trophy lest their ego gets bruised. I don’t think there has ever been a moment in humanity when the majority has been so vocal about what they deserve. The “sanctity” of human life has people taking extraordinary measures to continue to survive, as though any of us will get out alive.
I fell in love with camping this year. Not “pile a bunch of stuff into the car” kind of camping. “Packing a bag as lightly as possible, walking through the woods alone for hours, letting the silence of nature envelop me as I decide where to pitch my tent, having a bear canister” kind of camping. Watching the sky come into focus surrounded by trees is a powerful way to be reminded of what we are. We are but a sliver living on the surface of a planet in a huge galaxy. We haven’t even explored the deepest depths of the ocean. We are a species that does a lot of whining compared to the other life we share this planet with and if we are significant at all in the bigger picture, it is with the power and speed with which we destroy things.
Things that remind me how insignificant I am fuel my passion for the world around me. I am always bravest and more creative after earthquakes or a little airplane turbulence. To be reminded of the fleetingness of our time is a gift, we are but dust.
Accepting our mortality is something we will all have to face. Coming to terms with the inevitability of death can help teach us to live more fully in the here and now. Consciousness of our mortality can enable us to cherish every moment of the life we have. What would you do if you only had a year left, a month, a week, a day, an hour? Time is the true currency we are spending.
This month our writers explore Death and the Afterlife through the lens of ancient cultures, politics and medicine. There are so many varied attitudes and ways of celebrating and honoring life/ death. There is no sense in arguing whose world view is correct, we will all find out eventually.
Make it count!
See you next month,