But, for how long?
One generation, two or for all eternity?
Do you even care?
Think about it.
We’re here for such a short period of time. Compared to the Earth’s existence (…we know from radiometric dating that Earth is about 4.5 billion years old) it’s a nanosecond, but we all, or the majority of people I know, want to live a life of consequence, even if we/they don’t aspire to be anything more than who they are — all spirit, soul and aliveness.
If you look at your life in the way a boat leaves a wake, what do you see?
An abundance of love, caring, meaning, connection and kindness?
Or are there some bumps along the way that you’ll have to live with until your dying days?
How will you be remembered?
How do you want to be remembered?
I realise that living during these uncertain and difficult times is more than enough and this sort of navel-gazing is not something you’ve time to contemplete.
But I do, not all the time but I constantly opine on whether or to what extent we’ll be ancestors worth claiming.
And in case it’s not already obvious from my outpouring on Twitter, I think the way things are shaping up apropos of the Anthropocene, our fate will be to leave the generations to come scratching their head as to how we could have got it so desperately wrong. Wrong in the sense that we’ve been on a mission to fill our boots with comfort, must-havery and material wealth, whatever the consequences to us and our non-human cousins.
The other thing that I’m constantly challenged by is our aversion to death — not just the reality of it (i.e. we’re all going to die) but the word voddoo that means we won’t even talk about it. What if we thought of death as our daimon? Something to guide us through our life, reminding us that we’re mortal and that our dying should never be news. For me, this is where all too often my ancestors show up. It’s like a quiet, pychic reminder that one day I won’t be here. That doesn’t mean I’ve got to stuff my boots full of distraction but it does mean that I’ve to take what I do seriously and that includes my work, my language and the questions I ask of myself and others.
Perhaps for now it would do us well to think about how we will be remembered and what will be said at our funeral. I’ve been to too many where I’d like to have whispered to the person who had died and ask: does this eulogy properly sum up all of your life? I’d wager that they might have a thing or two to say about what they might have or should have done differently to live a purposeful, love-infused life instead of the wreckage that’s being neatly packaged at the front of the church or crematorium.
Here is a link to all the places you’ll find me online including my Substack page where I now share my longer, essay-form writing.