Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Soul, Departing

It has been an hour. I have typed, groaned, erased, sighed, re-typed...and started over once again, yet everything I wanted to express about the death of a complete stranger eludes my focus.
I keep staring at the monitor, at this image that spoke to me the moment I viewed it on the tiny screen of my camera.
There you go, I thought. Out of the frame.
When I read about author Lisa Madigan's diagnosis at 47 of pancreatic cancer and her death one month later, I did what we all do--gave in to the uncontrollable urge to visualize how I would deal with a death sentence. How would I react? Would I be angry, hysterical, stoic, courageous? Would I fight or give up? I confess, I don't know myself well enough to say. And that's scary to realize. Am I a fighter? Would I be strong in the face of the unknown that lies just outside the frame? Or would I curl up and mourn for all the things I never got a chance to experience?
Note To Self: Don't waste time. It's too precious.  Practice being strong in life. Speak up, speak out. Love deeply. Explore.Try everything once. Even if it looks kinda scary or hard. Grow. It's all you can do to be prepared--to have no regrets.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Plunge into the Sublime Seas

"Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.Emerson

That one paragraph says more than the combined volumes of the self-help section in Borders, I guarantee.  
Looking for motivation? Inspiration? Clarity? Read the musings of intelligent, deeply thoughtful philosophers and study their words of advice. It is worth slowing down, taking a deep breath and being mindful for a moment. Read each word aloud. Yes! Always read aloud to yourself--taste the words, savor them and add them to your own vocabulary. When was the last time you said sublime? Isn't it a wonderfully textured word? The language of the past is so lovely, precise and elegant. The points are well made and applicable to any generation. Here is another one of my Emerson favorites:


"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin  it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."