Here’s my $64,000 question:
How do we live?
How do we saddle up and stand tall for this cradle-to-grave ride we’re gifted? And, as Hunter S. Thompson says, “take an honest road” while we’re at it?
Once, near a cemetery filled with past riders, it occurred to me that one way to understand more about life and living was to learn more about death and dying.
I got back from the cemetery and I read a few obituaries and a few facts. Facts like this one: Every day, around 151,000 people die.
Some were expecting it. Some were blindsided by it. All left hollowness in the world where their feet used to touch earth.
For those who were dying, who still had a chance to look over the life they had lived, there were regrets. Regrets of those leaving the world that, like torches, can light the road of those still in the world:
Worked to excess, they said. Didn’t live my own life. Didn’t love openly enough. Spent the days too cautiously.
Unlived life, they seemed to be saying, I took unlived life with me to the grave.
So, what’s the $64,000 answer to my $64,000 question? I don’t know.
But while I don’t have answers, I think I do have some torches to help light the way towards an honest road: Blow the whole wad. Drain the well. Get the blood racing. Give all you’ve got to give and then give some more to this bucking bronco ride we’re gifted.
As Mr. Thompson says:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!'”