It feels like I'm in a kind of death throes. But instead of more physical spasms, it's energy put into the life, and emotion, and fight. Dreams, compulsions, attachments, ideas, projects, opportunities bloom in technicolor, surround sound, then poof into nothing, or down to mere shadows.
At first it felt disappointing. Then kind of confusing. But as I began to see the patterns, the perfection in each tiny core, I felt awe for whatever it is that powers, fuels these bursts of worldy Yes, these wild flingings of color across the screen of my consciousness, my living. Now it's just fascinating. It's so curious: where will the energies lead next? What will be left behind when they disintegrate into fairy dust or sand or whatever it is you call this sort of energetic compost?
The trick is to give myself whole-heartedly to whatever is moving through me. I watched all four and a half seasons, some 75 episodes, of Friday Night Lights in less than three weeks. Applied to a couple dozen public health jobs. Spent about four days utterly absorbed in Evbogue's minimalist and cyborg-second-self energy. In hindsight, I see how each of these transforms me in some way, turns on a light in my consciousness around some sticking point inside of me. Watching FNL plugged me into some sort of headspace where I could see people consistently, repeatedly making Human Adulthood choices, even when Life was totally handing them a blisteringly raw deal. Evbogue showed me how to release a metric ton of cyber weight. But I don't know until the other side what the benefit is going to be. The trick is to let if flow. And when it's done with me, let it go.
I've witnessed a lot of beings leave their bodies. Some go gently - my grandmother, a baby bird I held in my hands - their breathing slowing and lightening. Some go suddenly, like The Hoon, from the meds they injected him with to save him from a more painful leaving. And two of my loved ones went fighting, tooth and nail, fighting, fighting to breathe up until the very end.
Burned in my brain is the image of Cassidy, fighting for breath as I raced through morning rush hour traffic, trying to get her to the vet. And how I finally pulled over to the side of the road, so that I could focus on her, really be with her as she went through the last few moments of her life. And how the look on her face as she left was one of surprise. As if she were stunned that another breath wasn't there.
Watching a loved one die a hard death changes something inside of you. It makes you vow, solemnly swear to all things holy, to offer up whatever Life wants the next time a loved one is dying, offer up to Life whatever hope or dream or morsel of visceral tissue it cares to take in exchange for a more peaceful passing. When The Hoon began to go, I called the vet and had them come over to end it quickly. People put pets "down" all the time. But The Hoon wasn't a pet. He was my family. Would you be able to inject your 16-year old brother with a shot that ends his life? How about the adopted child you raised from infancy?
And so after these deaths I held the very real energy of death close to me, understanding that I could set it down if I wanted to, but that it would mean throwing away the love vibrating inside of me for them. I understood on some very deep level that it was a package deal: hold the love, hold the death. And it transformed me. Burned things out of me I didn't even know were stuck inside of me. It torched bullsh*t disguised as relationships, crapola masquerading as kindness, and a roiling vaporous mountain of pointlessness dressed up as life choices.
But the trick is to keep the death close. Keeping death close keeps the breathing deep, the eyes clear, the heart open. It reminds constantly: this might be the last look/kiss/word/breath. Too much Life, not enough Death, and the living goes all dewy-eyed and delusional. Too much Death and the only option appears to be to go out onto the front lawn, lay down, and not bother to get up. But to hold both, simultaneously, fills a heart with unspeakable joy.
So as I watch the death throes, these rainbow spasms of I Am Alive! arise and then exhaust its energy, I breathe, and give thanks. Maybe all of this is just another brain party, another flare of made up mythic. Maybe death really is just a doorway. Whatever it is, all I can think about is how I can give my living over to Life even more, let Death wipe my living more cleanly.
Death and Life can both have me. It's their timetable. They let me try my hand at my living for so long, and while I often had a heck of a lot of fun, all I did was f*ck it up twenty-three ways from Sunday.
Now it's their turn. They can have at it.