Going to sleep on life

“The answer to the question—“What’s going to happen to me?”—is very straightforward: “You are going to die.” When I say that, as I always do in the Dreaming Room, everyone laughs. But not really. It’s that nervous release that pushes the wind out of us in the form of a laugh that’s more like a cough, or an uncontrollable hiccup. It’s where I suppose all laughs come from. An instantaneous recognition of the truth told out of context that jars our sensibilities or our sense of composure, the Self that is suddenly put into question. “Hi, folks, welcome to the truth. We’re all going to die. Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?”” — Michael E. Gerber, Awakening the Entrepreneur Within: How Ordinary People Can Create Extraordinary Companies

I’ll grant you, it’s a slightly tendentious heading, but if we’re not careful that’s what happens.

We fall sound asleep.

We’re like somnambulists in the dead of night.

Oh god, he’s at it again.

Yes. I. Am.

Life is so damn precious: here one minute; and then…gone — save the memories for those left behind and a few artefacts (if you’re lucky).

If only we saw that.


How fleeting it is: life.

I’m convinced that we’d approach it very differently. But not just that but we’d consider the import of death and why we’re so grief illiterate.

Sorry, I’m back on ye Old Soap Box.

Who am I tell to you anything?

Instead, and what’s becoming ever clearer to me, my (self-appointed) role is to be troubled out loud, to invite the more beautiful question and to listen. And not to proselytise another routine, and to me at least, often dull answer. I say dull in this sense: mystery is the backdrop to life, not knowledge. That’s too suffocating, too predictable and leaves us (or perhaps I should say me) flayed out when I come to the end of my box of tricks, quotes or those that I’ve aped all these years.

What’s your point Summerhayes?


Not that it’s completely in your gift — we don’t will our will and all that malarkey — but be careful not to let the curtain descend, obscuring all that your life offers the world. This isn’t (god forbid) to align myself with the ‘be all you be’ aficionados but instead to ask yourself if, absent all those pre-conditioned thoughts, fears and whatever faith you’ve signed up to (even the no faith option), you’d be doing what you’re doing now or something very different?

To this end, and I speak from experience, there’s no right way to live your life, what job to do but instead to bear down on the self-doubt as best you can and ask yourself: what does this all mean?

What does it mean to be here — now — alive to this moment, not hoping for a better future, and to live fully?

Of course, none of this may float your wee boat but again, what else is there save of course working for retirement, as I thought was my destiny. I accept that that’s bound to offend someone but then again, I’ve born witness to too many people who’ve gone to their grave with their song still inside them to start backtracking now.

Anyhow, as the old saw goes, have a great one.

Take care.

Much love, Julian