Pebble Rides (You Say You Want a Revolution)
In less than forty days I’ll be celebrating another revolution around the sun and I will find myself one revolution shy of a half century. While many approach such milestones with dread, I do not. I spend three days out of seven in the company of a widower printer, a man of predominantly Irish descent, who has survived eighty-four such revolutions. He and I chew the proverbial fat, covering topics from typography to religion, he being a dyed-in-the-wool Calvinist while I lean toward more ancient spiritual proclivities. He is, despite there being nearly forty years difference in age between us, a dear and trusted friend.
One of our most prevalent talks, especially of late, has revolved around death. He, being a good Presbyterian, is assured a place beyond the Pearly Gates, while I have a room reserved in Helgafjell (barring some last minute invitation to write in Sokkvabekk) where I’ll hang until taking another spin on this merry-go-round.
We, my friend and I, look over the obituaries together, discussing those who have shuffled off their mortal coil and set sail on the grand adventure into the great beyond. Today, for instance, saw a young man pass at the tender age of 19, while an elderly woman logged 104 birthdays before punching her ticket.
Therein lies the rub.
We don’t know when Death is coming for us. It could be today. It could be tomorrow. It could be another forty years from now. But come she will.
Few of us are ready to die. Few of us go willingly. But go we shall.
And it doesn’t matter when or how or why.
The only thing that matters is right now. This very second. Stop what you’re doing (which I guess is reading this blog post) and look around (go ahead, I’ll wait on you). Are you fulfilled? Are you happy? Are you living this moment like it might be your last?
Then why the hell not?
I’m reminded of a tweet by Neil Gaiman nearly a half decade past in which he spoke of a perfect evening spent listening to women read poetry while they drank wine in an abandoned castle in the rain.
While it’s true all your adventures cannot be in fabled Asgard, that every so often you have to take your lumps from the Absorbing Man back on Earth, still, we can aspire to it and keep those lumps to a minimum. You might not have an abandoned castle to drink wine in, but I bet you can come up with a reasonable facsimile.
Live large. Live now. There is no tomorrow.
That is my resolution as I prepare to embark on another pebble ride ’round the sun.