Saturday, April 06, 2013


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.


Melissa said...

Georgie, what questions you ask. As a seeker and a moderate hippie myself, with not dissimilar social phobias, I've pondered such questions for decades. My epiphany, when it occurred, was simple. There is no purpose. We're born, we live, we die. To quote my fave movie of all time, we are but 'amoebas on fleas on rats' in the scheme of this grand universe and we simply don't matter. And so, in the face of no purpose, life is a choice. I choose life and I find meaning in love. Because I've leart that love is the singular thing of any value in this life that I choose. I frequently ask myself, 'what would love do now?'. Imagine if we all chose love :)

Jenny said...

do hippies watch Oprah? Most of us don't really know where we are heading, I look back now from the vantage point of being 53 and see that this is where I was heading and it all looks like it was planned but I can barely plan my next meal let alone a life. Just live your best life, love and live and strive and support those you care for, laugh and think and get on with it, just like you already are doing.

Mrs Smith said...

Ha! I think there are many hippies who would be morally opposed to watching Oprah. I think I have mixed my metaphors there. And I am not really a hippy at all. just a bit sensitive, emotional and prone to succumbing to self-help books and the like.
As for the rest, you are right and you are wise. Thanks Jenny.

Mrs Smith said...

Thanks Melissa. We just have to keep the love doors open, huh? That sounds ruder than I meant it, bug you know what I mean. its hard when your tendency is to slam them shut, but well worth working on.

Annie Burns said...

Hi G! While I am sorry that it has been a challenging time for you of late - I am SO not sorry that I get to share a part of your life through your writing and the (sporadic) in person catch ups. The puropose of it all...hmmm....tough one. I don't have a clear cut purpose either but I know am very good at what I do in a treatment room - this was the very first thing I could say to myself "I am good at this!" and believe it fully. That has had a lot of power for me in the years since and I am working on believing in the journey not just a 'big picture' kind of deal. Be kind to yourself - you probably have no idea of how inspirational you are to so many others (and you have a cool family!).

Fer said...

To me it seems that a lot of these questions come with turning 40, and if you've lost loved ones the questions because even more pertinent. I've been having a bit of an identity crisis over the past few months as my ability to do what I want has had to take a back seat while raising two smalls which have become the priority. I finally came to the conclusion that my purpose in life at the moment is to bring up two healthy happy children, and if I can do that without pulling too much hair out then I should be pleased with myself. Later on I'll get my own life back.....