Wisdom Accumulated Slowly

jamesappleton04Once upon a time living felt mostly like an endless obligation to have a place to live, a car to drive, food to eat, money to spend and to take care of others. Although it often appears a break through insight comes quickly, usually it is actually wisdom accumulated slowly but fully realized in a moment. How true my perspective of being alive matches that process. From a life of obligated responsibility, to a true gift realized has been my path.

What I am obligated to has not changed much. But existance is far more than an endless list of “have to’s”. Instead I am pulled forward by the possibilities of life, for as long as I live they are endless. Thankfully, gone are those days when living felt mostly like a burden.

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life-like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you.
I will love you, again.
“The Thing Is” by Ellen Bass
From book ” From The Courage to Heal”

Today I love my life In a deeper way I never knew until recent years. There is something about accepting mortality that makes living far more valuable. Being old enough to have witnessed the cycle of life from birth to death many times takes away youth’s fantasy of living forever. Those words are written not with morbidly shaped thoughts, but rather with a perspective shaded with realness that makes being alive all the more precious. For every second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year and decade of my days, gratitude is deeply resident within.

You’ve got to take the good with the bad,
smile with the sad, love what you’ve got,
and remember what you had.
Always forgive, but never forget.
Learn from mistakes, but never regret.