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July 10, 2011

How stable are we? And to what degree?

Our friend's son's condition has stabilized for now. I have thought of him all weekend. And of the father trying to catch a baseball in the stands at a Rangers game....the father fell and died in the act. And of the hiker in Yellowstone who surprised a mother bear with her cubs ... and died as a result. And in one of those contemplative moments, after hearing such news, I have to say to myself, "We are all dying at this moment, just by degrees."  We are all also living at this moment, and the question to ask ourselves is, "To what degree?"

I've just returned from 48 hours by the shore of Lake Superior, slept in a cabin perched literally on its rocky edge.  Edge. Dividing line. Degrees toward and degrees from. The vast, featureless expanse of water-sky. There were moments, hours, when not even a horizon was visible.

Longevitud ..... Latitude .... At what degree of life or death am I in this moment? And how will my awareness of my position affect my decisions?  Not a question to ask every day, but a question to ask on some days, so that other days may be lived more fully.

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