Rushing Headlong Through Life

I’m all wild inside, as though something is curling and churning and wildly dancing inside me. The last few days have been a thing to behold.

Lately my running has been slow, methodical, dedicated. But yesterday I streaked through the Parque Kabah. I passed people who normally pass me, and I passed them moving fast. I felt I could have run as fast as I wished. It was an absolutely thrilling and very rare experience for me.

And I celebrated it by driving to the grocery store and hitting a parked car. I put a foot long gash along the side of my car using the nice strong bumper of a parked pick-up truck. I’ve been driving for 22 years. I have never hit anything, ever, until yesterday, when I hit a parked truck. Brilliant. I can’t even begin to explain to myself why I did this. I just wasn’t in my body somehow, which seemed so wrong after having such a good run.

When I got home I came unglued. Everything I touched seemed to break. I dropped an armload of laundry down the stairs into the cats’ food and water. I spilled bleach on a new shirt. I tripped going up my stairs. I dropped the phone while I was talking on it. The only thing I didn’t screw up was writing code, I wrote good code yesterday.

During the day a close friend had a crisis and needed my help which I was thankful to be able to give easily. Her crisis was primarily someone else’s fault. And the guilty party didn’t take any responsibility for it. So by the time I caught up with her, after the fact, she was feeling used and was a little unglued. So we sat there being unglued together, camaraderie.

And later on I learned that the mom of one of my best friends had just died in the morning. She had passed after a long battle with cancer. My friend had been by her mom’s side non-stop for the last month, but it was finally over. And by the time I learned of the death the body had been cremated.

This morning I got a text message at 5:55 am, it was the first step towards planning today’s funeral. Due to family travel plans the family needed to have the funeral this morning, between 9 and 9:30. And that’s exactly what we did. We gathered together, the 6 of us, both friends and family, and took the ashes to a beautiful beach.

Nothing much was said, my friend and her brother picked a rock out in the water and we all waded out and let the ashes go near it. We stood there, knee-deep in the swirling, churning, roiling sea and the ashes went, they went out around us and out and away. And then we attached a bouquet of white roses to the rock. So when the waves would break over the rock the first thing that would come up were the flowers.

This was a funeral I will never forget. There was something completely organic about it. No one needed to talk. The ocean said what needed to be said, and it did what needed to be done, it washed her away, it washed us all. It gave us something new, a new start, an empty place to fill. It was sad, and happy, and fabulous, and beautiful. It was right in a way that so few things in life ever are. And that, that organic, spontaneous, rightness has left me stunned, awed, and churning. Life is such an amazing, amazing journey.

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2 Responses to “Rushing Headlong Through Life”

  1. stephenj2585
    March 26th, 2007 12:32

    what a wonderful post. I had a friend die after years of living paralyzed as the result of a gymnastics accident. what he loved most (pre-accident) was surfing. I took his ashes out on his surfboard and left them at the point break just off the shore at Shark Pit. It was his favorite spot. Just me and him offshore, his parents and friends were watching from the beach. The sun was just rising, there were two seagulls flying by, the ocean was crisp and clear. I know that Matt was happy. And whole.

    Steve Jones

  2. RiverGirl
    March 26th, 2007 13:01

    Steve – Good for you! Those are moments we never forget, they transcend everything else.

    Personally I can’t imagine anything worse than being buried underground for an eternity. My daughter is under strict orders to cremate me and “do something cool” with my ashes. For a while I had it in my will that I wanted to be scattered among the blueberry bushes on top of a certain mountain, but now I think I’ve got to be put in a lot of places…I think she will need to travel around throwing me all over…

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