Thursday, November 12, 2009

Live Like We're Dying

"We only got 86, 400 seconds in a day to turn it all around or throw it all away."
-Kris Allen, "Live Like We're Dying"

(I knew where I was going when I started this blog post...just not sure where I ended up. Enjoy!)

One of the most prominent themes in my life, paraphrased at first by Tim McGraw when he spoke those words I first heard at the intersection of Lorain Road and Great Northern Boulevard: "And he said 'One day I hope you get the chance, to live like you were dying.'" Now brought back to light by Kris Allen in his first single. When compared according to quality, we're talking apples and oranges. Funny how two totally different things have the same end-result.

I wrote a short (very short) poem a couple weeks ago:

Live wild, live free
For what has come, let it be
For what will come, will be
Live wild, live free

Is this what it means to live like you're dying? I think it pitifully scrapes the surface, but it's a start. The way I look at it, you just gotta let it go. This is impossibly hard sometimes, but that's why we have the likes of Muhammad Ali to let us know that "Impossible is nothing!" Seriously, just...let...it...go.

It reminds me of a post I wrote more than a year ago: here.

Most anybody can understand the concept of living like you're dying. However, very few REALIZE how to do it. There's a very distinct difference. In order to realize how to live as if your life might end literally any second, I firmly believe you have to achieve Nirvana. But for us unenlightened fools, we can take a look at eastern philosophy (Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, etc.) for a start. You don't have to buy into it all, but trying to understand it is a good first step.

If you don't want to bother with eastern philosophy, go ahead and try this one for size:

Breathe the stale, breeze-less mid-afternoon air. Watch the cold, naked branches of trees caught in the clutches of February. Feel the cotton sheets as they stick to your sweat-soaked skin while you toss and turn during a sleepless night. Read a terrible book. Smell the worst gas you're significant other has ever emitted. Feel the itch of two-day-old sunburn in the middle of your back. Bend a fingernail backward. Listen to a baby wail in Denny's after you get cold food that turns to ash in your mouth because you're terrified of a phone call you have to make later that day. And above all......

......revel in it. For it won't happen again. You are alive. For such a brief interlude in time. A brief flicker of a candle among a roaring forest fire. That's all you are. Just make sure to burn.

With desire, with passion,
with your hatred for fashion.
With purpose, without answers
no one to help when your hands hurt.

With freedom, self-reliance,
with painstaking compliance.
With direction, with strides,
that stretch a mile wide.

Be powerful. Be humble. Be present.

2 comments:

Alivia said...

Well said Jeff...well said. Only...i'm not sure how to work on the "letting it go" part...i'm a big dweller and poisonous it is to my health...but thanks to your blog post, I'm going to try and chill out today...relax...take er' easy. THANK YOU : )
P.S. Meeting up with Layne, Stas and Mary in NYC today...how appropriate : )

A Freebird said...

Letting it go can be incredibly hard, I know. Instead of thinking so much about it, try to start w/ the physical part of letting it go. Relax your shoulders and neck muscles. The rest of your body will follow.