Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart


time runs away from us

grief and fearAn old and dear friend lost her husband yesterday. Walking together to his work, she must have watched as he fell to the ground with a heart attack, his second in two years. He was dead by the time they arrived at the hospital.

He was younger than my husband, only a few years older than I am. And somehow, those two things — my friend’s loss of her beloved, and his relative youth — make this very personal.

All death is personal, of course. To someone. Donne was absolutely right: Any man’s death diminishes me. Except that it doesn’t feel the same. The death of most distant strangers is just that — distant. Completely off our radar. By 2:30 today, there had been about 94,000 deaths across the world. And I felt none of them like this one yesterday.

Life is always a gamble. We have no idea what’s just around the corner. Another friend told her FB friends yesterday that her routine colonscopy (she’s not even 50) turned up pre-cancerous polyps. Had she put off the colonoscopy a few more years, the polyps would have killed her. I could tell a similar story.hourglass1

I like to think I live my life fully — trying hard to pay attention to both the moments and the spaces in between each one. But my family is prone to all kinds of bad health (Alzheimer’s, diabetes, Parkinson’s, heart disease, kidney disease: we should really not reproduce!), and I know my time may well be shorter than I’d like.

But then, isn’t it always?

So I’m telling each of you: take a moment to go outside and look up. Breathe deeply, then go hug the nearest loved one. Send a card (did that today), email a note. Phone a friend. But don’t take this day — or any other — for granted. Time runs aways from us.



Previous Posts

choosing happy
Someone in my family -- probably either Aunt Bonnie or Grandmother Britton -- used to say that you choose to be happy. Each morning, she told me, you make that choice. It's a decision. So today? I'm choosing

posted 3:50:11pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

some periods you just breathe through...
At times like this, I don't know what I'd do w/out tonglen. When I'm grieving for a loved one's unhappiness, or breathing through my own, I remember: all over the world there is suffering. I know - how hokey is

posted 4:20:37pm Jan. 28, 2015 | read full post »

the fragrance of peaches
I wish I could send out, over the ethernet, the fragrance of the peach tea I made today. I wish there was a way to bottle the steam spiralling from the cup, comforting on a worrying day. Often when I worry, it

posted 12:11:07pm Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

with a little help from friends
You know that saying 'it takes a village'? Well, it does. For any endeavour worth remembering, it takes collaboration. Varied viewpoints, multiple hands, and a LOT of coordination. Witness my niece's shower. W

posted 5:00:00pm Jan. 25, 2015 | read full post »

talking to strangers
I know, your mother told you not to. But now you're a grown-up, and I beg you to reconsider. You're sooo missing out! Yesterday I had the loveliest conversation with two strangers -- two of the many I meet daily.

posted 10:30:46pm Jan. 23, 2015 | read full post »




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