We sat on the porch last night around one o’clock and looked at the stars. This isn’t something we usually do, simply because the twelve stars one can usually see in the Los Angeles night sky are underwhelming, at best. Last night was different. The sky was clear and the stars were sharp and cold and bright. Mars, sparkling and pink, perched above the chimney of the cottage next door, and we watched the moon go down as the stars spun low in the arc of the sky.
The stardust sifted down on us imperceptibly as we watched their slow dance.
Last week, my social network was somber with the news of many deaths; some expected, some not. I thought about all those blazing balls of cosmic dust, and reflected on the losses my friends have experienced this week. I think about these people I didn’t yet know, and those I knew only fleetingly.
I think of how their passing has rippled out upon the world, touching those they knew and some they didn’t, little constellations that overlap and twist together, a true tapestry of our interwoven existence. I think about the disintegrated starstuff that made them and how they eventually will find their way back to the heavens, millennia from now. I am reminded that I only have this one chance to make a life that will create one final, infinite ripple across the fabric of time when I am gone.
It’s a beautiful day today, right now, this moment. The sun is shining, it’s warm. The grass is brown and the trees are naked, but you can feel the rustle of their slow awakening in your bones. There’s a massive world outside, bursting with the promise of adventure and opportunity. There’s a stirring inside my self that whispers “I’m alive” with every movement, every breath. Food to be grown and cooked and eaten. Art to be created. Musics to be sung and strummed. There is a story to tell, a treasure to be sought, many friendships yet to make.
When my heart’s fire burns unbearably hot, when it is stoked by the pain and rapid shift in perspective born of loss, it is able to blossom into divine inspiration; a phoenix risen from ashes. It is all the legacy that I could hope to leave if I am able to pay that forward someday.
I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really: get busy living, or get busy dying.
For myself, I desire less “I will” and more “I do”. I’ll try to be better about this moving forward. More action, more care, more love, more of everything, for we do have so very little time, when all is said and done.