The End of the Ride
What does it mean to be aware of our own mortality? To know — to truly understand — that death is real and certain. That only the time of death is uncertain — not abstract, not necessarily distant, just uncertain.
I could very likely die soon. I could die at the end of this very day, at the end of this very sentence, or before I finish even that.
How does knowing this, knowing this deeply in our bodies change the way we move through the world? How does it change the quality of the mind? How does it change the quality of this step, how we set down this foot, set down this cup on that table?
How do I look at you differently? How do I look at you, talk to you, knowing that neither of us has any say here. That we are mere tourists, who get to play on this ride, whose beginning we can’t remember, so we forget it must also end.
Remembering this, carrying this around, with its full weight in our arms, sounds heavy… or does it sound liberating?
It makes me feel the magic in every moment. It reminds me I live in a wonderland, a feast for the senses.
No more fighting, no more controlling, no more worrying. No more shoulds.
No more lists and plans and piles of stuff I collect and write my name on.
I am not as interested in my stuff, my long term plans, my ideas, or my self.
I don’t want to try to label and order and make sense of all the shapes and colours rushing by.
I only want to hold your hand and point to what makes my heart swell.
“Did you see that? That was so cool!”
I just want to play while I still can. While I’m still here. While we’re both here.
And when the ride is nearly over, when my turn is ending, and I have to let go of your hand, I hope I’m not surprised. I hope I step off gently, without a fight, basking in the afterglow of that life. I hope the only thing I have to say is, “Thank you. That was so cool.”