Friday, December 19, 2014

I Shall Live An Urgent Living

In the middle of the busiest street in downtown Asheville, North Carolina, a long and tall blackboard is erected for visitors and locals, anyone, to write down their Before I Die ... wishes. A quick net search and I find that there are other walls of its kind around the world.

This makes me sad.

I believe it affects me this way because of the recent death of my husband. He did not want to die; I did not want him to die; I do not want to die nor think of dying. I want to live.

Maybe it's just semantics. Dying gives a body urgency. "The end is imminent, so baby, you better get to the living and in a big way." Why do we have to have doom hanging over our heads to declare that, yes, we shall take advantage of this precious time we have here and now? I want to live.
My favorite tree in Portland, Ore.

I agree dying strikes fear. Dying focuses our priorities. When someone you love dies, many realizations dawn. Life is fragile. Life is short. Life is filled with unnecessary complexities. Life is the people you love and the love you receive and give. Life begets life. Death, I believe, does not beget life. Before I Die wishes do not inspire life. I want to live.

A lifespan opens a window of infinite choices and opportunities. We are limited by ourselves, by our fears. For some less fortunate, the immorality of others limits life's potential. It is easy to write these words. It easy to comprehend them and say we will live fully and embrace the passionate ways and reject the heaviness that can accompany living. It is entirely something else to practice urgent living. I want to live.

Urgent living requires a vivid, unshakable faith that everything shall be okay. There is phrase in one religious practice: All will be well, all will be well, all manner of things will be well. Most of us do not believe or embrace this concept. Because, many times, the path is cluttered. My path is cluttered. I have bills to pay and burdensome tasks to undertake and sacred obligations of parenthood to live up to. I want to live.

So I shall. It will be an imperfect urgent living. I shall not write in chalk on public blackboards those things that death inspires me to do. I will live needful of filling myself and others with beauty and potential, anything that inspires my motion-filled body to love in the doing. I shall live.


  1. To be human is to be mortal. It is vital that we be reminded of our own mortality from time to time so we don't waste our most precious gift to others.... our time.

    1. I often feel a tinge of guilt when writing on a project that may never earn me any money. But then I think, I probably will regret not having written enough by the end of my life.


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