January 4, 2010
Happy New Year (A Love Letter to Everything)The two-thousands are over. What an interesting decade is was for me, it was my twenties. It has definitely been the most interesting and life changing decade so far – full of difficulty and full of things for which am I so grateful. I've been thinking a lot lately about what really matters in life, and what it really boils down to I believe is to try your best to take advantage of the gift life is, and to make the most of the relationships that are important. Here are some recent reflections...
Sometime in my childhood, I don't remember exactly when, I discovered something about myself that persists to today: I have trouble believing in something that seems supernatural without evidence. For me, this characteristic of who I am is important because of the finality of death, and importance of love. What is left is what I know is true and what I hope is true. The most terrifying concept to me is oblivion or nothingness. I imagine if someone I loved died, would they be gone forever? Would my love be for nothing, after the spark of life fades from their eyes?
If love is sacred, as it is to me, then how could it be vulnerable to death, to oblivion, to the endless darkness that is inevitable. Ultimately, everyone I know and love will cease to live and all traces of their existence will slowly vanish, a fact that cannot be avoided. All traces of humanity, even life on our planet, will dissolve into the cosmos because of entropy, or be swallowed up in the overwhelming inferno of a black hole like the super-massive one in the center of the Milky Way. What will be left behind?
I had a dream recently that offered me peace to this ultimate dilemma of existence. I dreamed that I was having a conversation with a close friend and suddenly I had this understanding that everything is possible, something I've heard many times, but in this dream I was aware that every instance has itself infinite possibilities, ultimately shifting the probability of anything happening to absolute certainty – in this universe, or in some variation of another. Although to our eyes for practical reasons we see what is likely and not all that could be; but if there are infinite possibilities then nothing is impossible so that everything is not only possible, everything is. This dream was important for me because the idea that if anything (and by 'anything' I mean 'everything') can happen, will happen, and did happen, then there can be no real limitations to love, not even death. If there are really infinite possibilities, then there are infinite opportunities for the love in my heart to last forever.
I was talking to my father not long ago; he grew up as the son of a farmer who ran a mobile saw mill. (Several of my uncles were missing bits of fingers. My dad is missing a bit of one of his fingers as well but thats because a couple years ago in a moment of absolute senility he tried to pick up a lawn mower from the bottom edge because it had jammed...temporarily.) When my dad was eight years old his father died of a heart attack. In my recent conversation with my dad he told me that he stayed awake the night his father died as long as he could praying for his father to come back. My dad's dad, my grandfather who died decades before I was born, was a serious man, but my dad remembered a moment when his dad had joked with him. He'd asked him who had won the Gillette Friday Night Fights with Joe Luis, and his dad said “I did!” Half a century later I thinking about the love that passes from generation to generation.