“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going.
And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.” – C. Joybell
What meaning is there in the death of a 25-year old man?
What lesson am I supposed to learn?
And why, do we try to stay strong, stay positive, stay optimistic? What is there to remain optimistic about, do tell?
When you see the following:
Stop. Feel. ______.
What is your instinct to put in the blank?
I want to better understand, the meaning behind my patients’ cancers. Not the science behind it. Please, no. I want to know the abstract—the meaning—the purpose behind it, please. It’s not a new question, no. Many have asked, I am sure.
And I don’t even need to know the answer at full length.
I want to know why it erupts and spreads and poisons the body, the beautiful bodies of people that love and are loved.
I’d like to know about the patients in their twenties, thirties, forties, and beyond…the ones with their toddlers and their adult children and their future children. The ones who haven’t lived yet.
Why will he die?
What meaning is here?
How am I to sit by his side and nod my head and say “this is really shitty,” when death has never stared its black eyes down my back?
How about this:
If you’re an abuser, stop.
If you have love to give, begin.
If you aren’t doing what you love, start.
If your passion is music, play.
If you have something to say, speak.
If you’re a dancer, spin.
and If you’re dying, live.
“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” ~ Louise Erdich, The Painted Drum
Editor: Kate Bartolotta
Image: Sydney Sims/Unsplash