Thursday, May 19, 2011

This is Not the End

Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the fantastic quality of being alive. Simply walking along a path, discovering a new lookout place, sharing words with a friend.
I don't care if I'm judged. I don't care if people give me funny looks. If the people stare then the people stare. I want to be different. I am joyfully, blessedly irreverent.
Oh, of course I fret. I worry. I won't lie to you and say I am completely carefree. But in those moments of worry, of troublesome thoughts, I step back. I try to realize that I am here for a reason, that I am in this specific spot doing this specific thing for a reason, and why the hell am I worrying about things that are not right here with me this second. It helps. It's amazing how my mind can overpower my mind. Tricking a negative to think it's a positive. Pushing the negative so far beneath the covers that all I can see anymore is the good things.
I walked all over a grassy field today with a friend. To us, it was just a great open expanse wedged between two great walls of towering trees. Plush grass littered with dandelions, we meandered barefoot. We found a headstone in the ground, alone. A ways later, we found another. And then, down where the hill leveled out a bit, we found many headstones. Rows and rows of names. Remembered names, I suppose, the ones that people know. I can go find the Frank that I noticed, or the Otis, or the Gretchen. It was sobering, and my friend and I trekked up the lush hill to reach our previous path, we noticed a sign. The sign explained that over 2,000 immigrants were buried on the hill, and only about 200 were marked. Bodies in the ground, beneath my feet, and I didn't know. I didn't even think about it. I don't know their names. Unremembered. They all had lives, probably had husbands and wives, children. Lovers and heartache. Dreams and wishes,hopes and pet peeves, favorite colors and silly little habits. And now, they were under my bare feet, unmarked, and I didn't have a clue. Back to the earth, as they came. There might have been more Franks, more Carl's , more Emily's. And I can't even look, I can't find out.
What would happen if that happens to me? What if I get lumped into a mass, and when I die, I go unremembered? Oh, perhaps my friends might occasionally think of me, or my family. But not daily, and soon enough they'll forget what color my eyes were, or the way my laugh sounds. They'll forget if I had freckles or not, they'll not remember if my hair was red or blonde or light brown. They'll forget to think of me.
And while this is near-tragic, my first thought that occurred to me is that I don't really mind. I don't want to do anything so remarkable that hoards of people come to view the spot that my rotting body, which my soul has long departed from, then would lay.  If I live a life where I am satisfied, where I am content with myself (even being content with my restlessness), then why should I care if I'm remembered? Why should others matter? If I lived what I thought was to be a good life, well then that should be enough for me.
Why does it feel like I'm writing my obituary.

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