* …is the name of the movie I was watching and paused to write what lies below. I’d never be so pretentious (or presumptuous) as to title a blog post “The Meaning of Life” and actually mean it.
That said, I did just do exactly that. Well… it seemed appropriate. To me at least. You be the judge.
I’ve spent so much time (37.5 years) learning and absorbing: history, science, places, people… If it all ends soon I’ve barely had a chance to do anything with everything I’ve taken in. And mulled over. And played with in my mind. And reshaped and rethought and reformed into things exciting and new (to me at least).
And you’re sort of taught that that’s the point, aren’t you? To work with what you’ve learned? To be able to DO something with the skills you’ve honed over the years, or the intellectual trinkets you’ve gathered and stored and managed to retain because they meant something to you or you saw something in them?
The irony is I finally do at this moment in my life (my life!) feel ready to regurgitate something, to DO something with all of that preparation. To make something with everything I’ve taken in. I’m positively bursting at the seams. Because, are these things we’ve loved and learned as precious if they never get to see the light of day again? I think they are still precious, but I think they shine even more brightly if we get to bring them out to show to others. Because it’s precisely that act of making something of them that clarifies and focusses the beauty that caught our eye in the first place.
But what do I want to make? What have I been preparing for, for all these years? That path hasn’t ever been perfectly clear, and I haven’t been suddenly handed the answer. But I do have an idea. A very good one (to me at least) of what all that preparation has been leading to. I just haven’t gotten there yet. But I feel close.
So if the curtain goes down now, or any time before I DO get there, I couldn’t call it a waste (being alive was terribly fascinating, and continues to be– that alone was worth the go-round).
But it would feel like a bit of a missed opportunity.
So why didn’t I already do it? Why didn’t I already get there? I’ve thought about this a lot. The simple answer is I wasn’t ready. And the other simple answer is that there’s something clarifying about a deadline– particularly when the “dead” part is literal. Maybe it is this potential rush to the end, this increasingly obvious ticking clock, that has finally lit a fire under my ass and convinced me to get on with the business of doing something with this (both literally and figuratively) swollen brain that I’ve got. Or maybe the extra and ultra swelling of my brain over the last year has provided a clarity and organization to everything that came in before it. And made me (even more) bursting at the seams.
Either way, clearly I should be doing something. And, as quickly as possible.
Well I am writing. Right now, in fact. Write now. In fact.
That’s a start.
I just don’t know if I’ll have enough time to get it all out.
That’s a problem.
That is, to be honest, the main problem. The brain cancer I can deal with, because I am happy. I’ve been, happy. I am a bit lonely with this experience… I am, in fact, sick with experience… but that’s tolerable.
What’s not tolerable is the thought of this brain disintegrating with all of that wonderful stuff I’ve gathered trapped inside of it. Whether that disintegration happens after I’m in the ground or while I’m still here (my biggest fear is that it’s already begun), I hope I’ve managed to extract enough juice from it and put it on paper so that I don’t go out feeling like I’ve let be buried a piece of perfectly ripe fruit.
Because… well maybe that would be a waste.
And come to think of it, maybe that actually is the meaning of life.
To me, at least.
Now back to The Meaning of Life.