I remember reading a poem at hospice memorial services and support groups every year that asked if you were a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I’m reminded of this poem now because every so often I joke with a friend I work with that the reason for me being at this place, this time, this space has passed and that it’s time for me to move on. And we kind of chuckle.
And yet I think there is something cosmically serious about the whole conversation.
Has it all just been random meetings. . . you know, over all these decades, meeting people and losing people, traveling from state to state, from place to place, and time zone to well, other time zones and back. Was it “meant to be”? Was it always going to happen anyway? Was it just random coincidence? Is it part of a grander scheme in the universe? Does it really matter? And, well, who cares?
There are two sides to me; I realize this as I get older. . . and paradox of these two sides is what I think can make life interesting.
The one side says to me, that of course there is meaning, purpose, reasons for things, for other sentient beings, for lessons to be learned, for experiences to grow from. Now, I have no problem with there not being any “inherent meaning or inherent purpose” and that the reason for the journey is to create that meaning, that purpose in your life.
The other side, well, it just thinks, maybe all of this thinking and searching is a way to pass time, a way to create drama that doesn’t really need to exist. You know, in stripping away all of the “stuff” from experience, and just being with what is.
I some times wonder if I can live those two paradoxes and then I wake up for a moment and realize that my life is the meeting of those two paradoxes and my life goes off the rails when I lean into one side or the other and not sit perched between the two. And when I keep that as my daily mantra and let go of all of the other messages, meanings, song lyrics, crazy thinking, media nonsense, or the like, then I am free to wake up and be.
What about you? Are you your narrative? Your experiences? Your genes? Is each second of your life laid out in some fashion and your life is just a great labyrinth walk designed by someone else? What are the paradoxes you hold as truths or as lies? Are you your desires, impulses, latent drives? Are you one cosmic being that has taken shape into a familiar archetype? Are you just part of the generational stories in your family or your clan? Are you only your behaviors that can be reduced to four basic functions, void of nothing richer than your actions? Are you a being who is here to connect, grow, prosper, and thrive?
I think these are great questions to ask on our grief journeys and our life journeys. Share as you will or not. Ponder, fit on for size, reject, etc. But whatever you do, make it your own!
In honoring your path, your journey, your love, and your sorrow.