Ok, ok I get it, Universe, we are mortal. I get it. Can you please now cease beating me over the head with this lesson?
This week my Dad has teetered between the light and the dark a few times. It has been a wild ride. But he has, with the power of his beard, and his incredible force of will, recovered. He is getting ready to go home.
We celebrated my Aunty Sue's life and bade her our farewells. The wooden box looked too small to contain her. It was festooned with dusty pink roses and she descended to 'Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Good-bye'. She always had a golden sense of humour.
Life and death. It makes me come over all philosophical.
What is it, do you think, that our purpose is? Do you think it's predestined, or a choice we make?
Dad's life purpose has always been so clear - a clear vocation to save lives and to make lives (all 7 of us). Aunty Sue's purpose seems clear too: she was a great friend and mentor to everyone she knew and loved.
Big, ordinary lives.
I am one of those hippies that believes that every experience holds a lesson. (You don't watch as much Oprah as I have without that little chestnut becoming firmly embedded in your psyche.) This week has felt like being squeezed through an emotional mangle, but being close to death is a gift. A gift that hurts like hell and feels like a big kick in the pants. A hot pink neon sign flashing, 'Pull your head out of your arse and get on with it!' in curly cursive.
I'm still not certain what it is I need to get on with, but the answer that will have to satisfy for the moment is 'Something'. Stop thinking, worrying, analysing and act.
Also, being the Oprah watching hippy I am, I think the answer is to love. Open whole hearted living, must be the way forward. That is not easy for a person with mild social phobias, like me, but fears are to be conquered. Trust is not something I hand out willy-nilly, and as for revealing my vulnerable self to the world? I would really rather avoid it. And so I walk around in an opaque armoured box of politeness wondering why no one can see who I really am.
Ooh, I think I might have just workshopped myself through an, 'A-ha!' moment.
Do you know your purpose? Or do you think that idea is ridiculous? Maybe you are what you are, you do what you do and that is all there is.
Or did you have an epiphany, a moment when your focus crystallised and you knew exactly what it's all about for you? Exactly who you are?
Or did you just follow a path? Choose a way forward and plow on with your head down and your bum up?
Maybe none if these questions matter. Maybe you get one shot at living and so you better suck the marrow from it.
Maybe the best lives are those that are too full of love and survival to stop and waste time pondering existential dilemmas?
The thing I know for sure is that, with all it's light and dark, I am so grateful for this one sentient lesson-filled life and everyone in it.