Random thoughts. I’m late. Should have posted hours ago.
Here’s another one: I am going to die…but not today.
OK. Perhaps not your first choice of an ice breaker at a party, but together, those two simple parts of a simple sentence do a pretty good job at packing the definition of being human into one little (albeit tightly wound) nutshell.
Part One is all about accepting our time on this Earth is finite. Despite the frenzied self-denial on display at any health club or gym, the end is beyond our control and not related in any way to our Facebook status. I contend the sooner we embrace the stark reality that this is how the movie of life has, and will always end, the sooner we can enjoy the rest of the show.
Part Two: Not today. Evidence of procrastination or a statement of defiance?
Lighten up Campers. This is the part we can control; the part of us that keeps getting back up when we get knocked down. Some say such resilience is actually a sign of not knowing any better. I would proffer these are typically the folks who obsess over counting steps in effort to push their ‘when’ as far out from today as they can.
Me? I think there’s more to it than just that. What if the ‘big stuff’ is actually the ‘little stuff’; the important things we fixate on actually being the ‘not so much’?
Over the years, the more time I’ve spent telling the Blog about what I’m learning of Life, Love or the mirror versions of Pain and Hatred, the more I don’t mind having the impudence to not care about the little stuff. It may be radical to think about stopping for a just a minute to take stock of what is in front of us in the here and now, but why not? And why not today? Dangerous questions to be sure.
This morning I allowed myself to get dragged to the grocery store for ‘a few things…’ First off, I know when I hear those words I won’t be headed back to the car with a bunch of cilantro in one hand and a bag of lemons in the other. There is going to be more. Begrudgingly, I have come to accept it as fact. Today’s excursion did nothing to prove me wrong.
What I hadn’t counted on was seeing a different side of ‘Not today’ flexing her muscle in, of all places, the checkout lane!
Two carts ahead of us was a woman wearing a sari. Beautifully woven, this woman exuded an unassuming and peaceful confidence as elegantly understated as the silk she was wearing.
The cart directly ahead of us was busy jabbering in a language I didn’t recognize. I may not have understood their words, but from the glaring eyes and dismissive hand movements, I had no doubt what they were saying had something to do with having to wait behind ‘one of those people’.
It must have been obvious to the 20-something cashier too. I swear I caught eyes with her in the same nanosecond she made her decision. ‘Not today’. Speaking as much to the shoppers ahead of me as she was to the shopper in front of her, she took just a few seconds extra to compliment the woman shopper on her attire and its craftsmanship.
My new cashier hero went on to say one of the things she loved about working there was all the different kinds of people she got to meet each and every day. The woman beamed, maybe even a tad embarrassed by the kind and genuine words of a college kid working for minimum wage. “Thank you for choosing to shop with us today”. That was it. Done. Next.
The shoppers in front of us? They were shut down, dare I say even a little embarrassed at being indirectly flagged for unnecessary rudeness. In an odd kind of way, I at least give them credit for suddenly becoming very polite, smiling at me, extending social pleasantries to the cashier and nodding to the woman now leaving for the exit.
Me? I just stood there for a second, realizing that out of the blue, I had just witnessed hatred and prejudice being told, ‘Not here. Not today’.
Powerful words. You can use them to rebuff the impulse to take the 2nd piece of pie. I use them to deny the still lurking urges to light up. Or, like our mutual friend the Cashier, you can use them to put prejudice in its place. Not here. Not today.
I am grateful to have been reminded that very little of this life has to do with its end. Maybe, just maybe, most of what makes us the best of human is being open to Love flexing in the details of the living we get to do with each other in the in-between. Here. Today.
In search of answers to questions unknown.
Perhaps not the first selection you think of when it comes to battle anthems, but give this a listen and see if you don’t hear it too. I like.
While we’re on the subject of good music and people that know a lot about it, be sure to check out Purple Mary’s read on Walter Becker at: https://myelectronicjukebox.wordpress.com/2017/09/03/walter-becker/
Banner Coastal Redwood Forest by Eric E Photography is used with permission.
NoWhereNowHere: https://summercheng3udotcom.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/tumblr_ljgxnner0f1qzi15io1_400.jpg; Not Here Not Now by Mr Saturn: https://mister-saturn.deviantart.com/art/Not-Here-Not-Now-503875362
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