Living in joy


This is going to sound weird. 

I will never wish to be 21 again. Actually, I won’t ever wish to be anything but the age I am in each successive moment.

Some people do. Maybe not 21, but younger than they are currently. They long for days things were easier to understand. When they thought they had stuff figured out, or at least didn’t mind not having the right answers so much. They like the idea they would do it better, cherish it more, embrace it more fiercely.

Me? I don’t crave the past. I never have. I worship the lessons. The memories and the sweetness of knowing where I come from, certainly, but not the age I was, never that.

It’s not that I don’t remember what it was like, it’s more like I did it already.  I tasted it. I experienced each moment and it was sweet, because it came once. It had more value for its limits.

I like not knowing what’s next. The surprise of it. I look toward tomorrow insatiably curious about what I will see, learn, experience.

There will be pains in my tomorrow’s certainly, there always is. No one is exempt from pain, and somehow that actually makes it ok. The fact that everyone is equal in pain. We think we have more, but really, no man escapes their portion. It’s just hard to see when we are feeling our own.

They say, if we set out each of our pains. Lined up head to head next to one another and really saw each pain as it truly is, we’d all most like take our own back instead of trading.

I believe owning my pain balances out the pain of others, so I don’t mind so much. Who would turn down their portion, if they discovered it saved another from it? Who wouldn’t take their portion if it meant a child would hurt less,  a victim wasn’t victimized, someone’s few moments of hurt reduced itself in sharpness? I’d take more than my portion, if I’m honest. I’ve seen pain and endured it. I can and will again. (I’m ready for you ya bastad’).

I have always lived without regret. I have made mistakes, but they made me grow and I cherish those lessons, they somehow make me strong. Even bad memories have a sneaky sanctity that makes them less regrettable in looking them over. They made me myself, and I’m having the most amazing love affair with her these days. 

I have learned the value of silence. Long walks and deep sniffs of air filling the spaces of my lungs and pushing out the grey dust that accumulated. Oh, how much I long after trees to walk under. How I stare lovingly at sunlight patches through bus Windows.

I know, I sound a nutter, but I can’t help it, I just love being the age I am.

There are people who haven’t lived as long as I have. Lives cut short for some reason or other. Lives that didn’t get to be lived. My biggest task in this life is to live thoroughly. To bemoan my life is to insult the dead. They would give anything for my crappy day. They would savor every morsel of food, every  soft wind, every single drop of rain. There are those who haven’t had my years, and I honor them by living in joy. They can’t, so I live for them. Fiercely I hug each year to me. I yell out to the sky “Do you see me living Grampa? Do you hear my thanks Daddy? Can you feel my awe Mom?”

Life is short. 100 years is all we get, if we are lucky. I want to remember every single year, even more than this, I want to feel every single moment of it.

I don’t want to live again, I’m too busy living NOW!!

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