With my hand on the wheel and my brain in neutral . . .

Diary of My Death, Post #4

Go to FIRST post –> Diary of My Death, Post #1

I’m going to borrow a line from the brother of a friend as he approached his own death. Dax told my friend and other loved ones, “I’m going to miss you!” His sentiment has taken hold and has repeatedly resurfaced in my thoughts.

Weeks ago, shortly after the doctor gave me my official diagnosis (I’m thinking maybe just hours), the “miss you” sentiment began popping into my mind now and then at the slightest of prompts. The first might have been as I was driving over a bridge and glanced out over the water. I saw the small waves being driven by the easy wind, the sunlight’s dappled reflection, the still-somewhat-green autumn trees on the shore, and a few boats moored here and there. It was just a glance, but I saw the wonder of it all, the joy of just being out on the bay, and I thought, “Hey! No more of that for me!” Well, a little more, as long as I last, but yes, there are plenty of things in life I’m going to wish I could enjoy endlessly.

In addition to the people in my life, of course, here are just a few things I’m going to miss. Some are small, some are more complicated, but all are downright amazing and wonderful.

  • The way the tops of trees move when a slight breeze sighs through them, especially in bright sunlight.
  • The way a better-than-average cup of coffee (great beans) makes you feel you’ve rediscovered coffee.
  • The way natural bodies of water move in wavelets, waves, and swells. I have spent time at sea, and I’ve often been hypnotized by the incredibly complex, intricate movement of water. Watching it is like having your vision restricted by a small window but still being able to see part of the machinations of the entire natural universe. (By the way, there’s a scene in the animated movie Happy Feet where the digital artists captured the poetry well enough to grab my focus and say, “Whoa! That’s a fantastic piece of work!”)
  • Music. Of course, everyone has their own taste and preference, but there’s no denying it: some music is just a shade shy of miraculous. Here, listen to the live rendition of Brian Culbertson’s On My Mind, and maybe play it two or three times with your eyes closed. How can something like this be created by mere mortals, by the exact same kind of creature that starts wars, subjugates and even enslaves each other, and carelessly cuts its own collective throat by polluting the planet? The same creatures that still wear mullet hairdo’s? It’s mind-boggling.
    And look at the high-quality piano in the video. Imagine – I mean it; take a few moments to imagine – how much societal cooperation is needed to produce such a fine instrument. Imagine not only the instrument itself but also all the unknown people who built houses, baked bread, made shoes, bound wounds, kissed and cried, and delivered pizza for the people who actually put together the piano. Then, imagine the societal cooperation that enables YOU to enjoy this music with just a click on your internet browser. There are millions of unknown people who have earnestly lived the drama of their “little” lives, and a whole lot of history, that have coalesced into YOUR ability to click your laptop and enjoy sublime music that billions – yes, billions – of humans have never or will never hear. For you and me, it’s just a case of being in the right place at the right time: we are lucky son-of-a-bitches.
  • Those soft sunsets in the winter, the kind where the air is motionless and crisply clear, and resilient bare trees are silhouetted by a band of fluid reds and oranges below a deep, deep blue sky . . .
  • The feeling at the end of a physically active day, for work or play, when your body is full of endorphins the way it can be only from being in motion the way our bodies are meant to be. It isn’t necessary at all to have done anything especially athletic or grand, just to have been in motion for the better part of a day. You’re out of your mind, out of your internal reality, and in the natural, real world, engaged in being.

The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
—Bertrand Russell

Don’t let the distractions of daily life blind you to the poetry that envelopes us.

Go to next post –> Diary of My Death, Post #5

Comments on: "Diary of My Death, Post #4" (1)

  1. Thanks for this, Mik. Even as I hear your voice, I had a flash to thinking about Alexis St. Martin, the fur trapper in Michigan who took a gunshot to the stomach that left a hole and led to years of being able to look in and observe how digestion actually works. So, looking through this little flap to Mik’s brain,I think, huh, this is how Mik works I will miss you–but not for a while yet.
    Did you see the buzzards yesterday? Sure, they’re buzzards and don’t get a lot of love culturally, but have you ever seen more beautiful flyers or any bird that looks like it’s having a better time up there with its flock? Buzzards. Something about this place I would miss.And sunrises that make the far side of the creek burn with light for about 10 minutes. Jim’s fleet of derelict boats out back when they’re gilded by the afternoon golden hour or mist or snow. Don’t get me started on the ducks. We’ve got a whole fleet of canvasbacks out behind us these days.


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