Wow. It has been a whole month since I last posted here. Well, it has been a bumpy ride, with my father taking sick suddenly and then passing away unexpectedly. Eulogies and out-of-town family and the emotions that go with the whole business - we've all rested in the sadness of that experience. And then we move on.
If there is one thing that the death of a loved one reminds us, it is that we must treasure the people in our lives. I have become aware of how easy it is to take others for granted. When someone is in our life regularly (child, friend, sibling, significant other, etc.) we forget to notice them as we did when they were new to our lives. We become accustomed to the way they walk, the depth of their eyecolor, the funny way they laugh, the shine on their hair in the sun. We are distracted by all the other things in life and forget to appreciate that exact moment that we are in, right now, with them. I consciously stop myself at times to be still and notice, to reopen my eyes and see/be love right then and there.
I like Susan Sontag's words: "Pay attention. It's all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager."
The other reminder that death offers is that we must seize every opportunity to live life as fully as possible. I personally have been postponing some of my dreams, and I am now consciously moving forward to realize them. As Joseph Campbell said, "Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls."
How about you? Is there a dream you have been waiting to realize? Dream realization requires action. Go. Act. Do. Is there someone in your life with whom you may have become too comfortable? Love realization requires attention. Notice. Appreciate. Cherish.