A short time ago I bumped into someone I had not seen for a while and he asked me what has been happening — it was one of those questions that invites the broadest of context. As I weaved a meandering reply I could not help but mention my sister's death, the death of two dear friends, the death of my mother, an uncle, a good friend's mother, and summed it all up with how an other uncle is coming to the end of his "fight with cancer".
There was an audible chuckle as I pointed out that I was a real ray of sunshine. I then went on to mention, "Life is for the livin'" — of late, it seems to be the season for this kind of conversation.
Life is for the livin'.
This has become my mantra when dealing with the dead — with great respect to the departed I find myself offering this up to anyone who will listen (including myself) and then move forward, sometimes (sadly) never to look back.
I am deliberate about dropping the "g" when I say it... not because I want to disguise a trite utterance of the obvious, but because I believe at these times the word needs to be used as a verb. A reminder that livin' is about action, progress, and embracing life to the fullest because it's so very finite — we will all know death soon enough.
And with that said, I need to trek Patagonia soon — after all, life is for the livin'.
PS: I know I am taking some artistic liberty when I say "livin'" is not only an actual word, but is a verb. Why not though? Isn't that what life is for?