I am looking at my computer. I want to write a new post but my mind is a blank. Presently JoAnn comes in and sits down, looking kind of thoughtful.
"I'm off to do the shopping," she says. "But I've been thinking about something.
"I've been trying to do some sorting in my sewing room ready for our move, and it makes me realize there are some quilting projects I'm going to have to let go of, because we really only have another 10 to 15 years, don't we? In 10 years we'll be in our late 80s -- in 15 years we'll be in our 90s. We need to be realistic and think how we can make the most of the time that we do have."
We talk a little bit about this inevitable process of aging and death and then she leaves to do her errands. After she leaves I think to myself, 'I wonder why she brought that up now, at this particular time. Does she think it may give me an idea for a post?’ I had mentioned at breakfast that I wanted to write a post but didn't know what to write about.
The subject of death occupies a strange place in our society. We are obviously quite fascinated with it -- it's the main theme of so many of our movies and books and plays after all. And yet paradoxically for the most part we don't like to talk about it too much. We love welcoming new babies into this world, but when someone leaves the world it brings up feelings of sadness and grief.
Personally, I'm looking forward to the coming years. Obviously none of us knows how many years we have, or even how many days we have come to that.
But every day I do have left will be an opportunity not only to savor life in an external sense as best I may, but to experience more fully and more consciously the timeless beauty of my own being that is already happy and already free.
Perhaps I'm being naïve here. But I truly believe that just as this truth welcomed the birth of my physical form -- that brought so much joy to my mother's and father's hearts -- so it will welcome its passing when that time comes.
"In an instant of recognizing the silence that is always here, you recognize your true face. You recognize the presence of God," writes Gangaji in The Diamond In Your Pocket.
We have the privilege, you and I, to be alive in human form in this extraordinary time -- with the opportunity to know the truth while we are still here.