I’m probably going a little off-topic with this week’s blog installment. The news is such: Last Tuesday a friend of mine finally came to the end of her long struggle with a painful and debilitating disease and passed away at 4:14a.m. It’s funny – you know it’s coming, but when it finally occurs it seems like a strange and faraway dream. Like it didn’t happen. However, I’m certainly aware it did happen, and I’m just doing some weird and awkward dance trying to come to terms with it.
Damn, she was a fighter. Years ago, in the beginning, you couldn’t really tell anything was wrong– I certainly couldn’t. No, she was just feisty and full of energy, ready with a snappy wisecrack or an acute observation about the ironies of life. Then things started going downhill, and she eventually was confined to a wheelchair, and then to a bed.
But you know — she would probably smack me right now if she was here and read this and thought I was getting even one millimeter weepy or sad. No, she was really about being positive – all the time, which is really amazing when you think about it. And I guess that’s what’s been on my mind, what I’ve been reflecting about.
I don’t know about you, but it is so easy for me to get caught up in the minutiae of life, and to miss out on the big picture. I always keep forgetting one simple but cosmic truth: all we have is now. The past is gone, the future doesn’t exist yet… All that is important is this very moment, this singular exquisite point in time. Yet it is so easy to agonize about things in the past, or worry about events in the future. And that truly is living in an illusion. The only reality is now.
So I’m sad, but I know what she would say: Carpe Diem. Seize the day. Grab this 24 hours and squeeze every drop out of it you can; make time to laugh, love and appreciate the world around you. And keep following your passion.
As I write this, I have a big illusion show that has to be ready in two weeks, and it seems like there are 500 items on the job list that still need to be completed. And yesterday I somehow mysteriously tweaked my back, so every movement now is like a little symphony of agony. And I have a backlog of office work that is screaming at me to be completed. So yes, it is definitely tough sometimes to hear the message of Carpe Diem, and to keep my eyes open to the pulse of life around me. But I’ll have to keep reminding myself of the insurmountable odds my friend faced, and how she kept going. “Damn the torpedoes,” she would have said. “Damn the torpedoes.”
I just want to be clear: I’m writing this not to mourn, but to say thanks to a friend for reminding me of what’s really important. Amazing, really; even after she’s left this earth, she’s still giving me gifts and insight.