Sunday, January 11, 2015

With Gratitude, The Leaf Falls Upon Broken Ground

Here's a song to listen to while you read...

I am of the belief that we are all artists. The moment we rise and greet the morning sun, we all create. We hug our children, and in them, we create a feeling of being loved. And they create in us the overwhelming feeling of what it is to love so greatly and to give so much of ourselves while asking for nothing in return. I do not have children, may never have children, but my heart keeps telling me to try. In the meantime, I give all of myself to Robyn and I am grateful. To quote William H. Macy from one of my favorite movies, “I have a lot of love to give.”

Last year, during the snow that hit Georgia, I had a wonderful experience. I was alone in our old apartment, looking out the big windows in our living room. The view overlooked a barren collection of trees. On the ground, where the snow had not fully covered the earth, was a pile of dead leaves. I watched the trees. Saw the wind jostle the branches. And I found a single leaf, still holding on. That leaf soon fell. Its descent was assured, but nonetheless graceful and beautiful. I saw that leaf fall into the pile of its brethren. And while that leaf was one among many, I could still tell you which leaf had lasted for so long in the cold. That leaf was a fighter, but it still had to fall. So runs our world away. And, in time, I lost track of that leaf. It had become lost amongst its family. In that, I saw the beauty of life and I felt good about my mortality. I embraced it, grateful for my time and feeling more than okay with the notion of returning to this earth. This is how I wish to be remembered and how I wish to leave this plane of existence. I do not plan to vacate my presence on this planet anytime soon. Like that leaf, I will fight against the cold wind. I will love the warmth of the sun on my back, and the heavy rain cascading off my face, and the soft kiss on my cheek from my beyond words beautiful wife.

When I was fifteen, I decided that I wanted to have what is known as a Green Funeral. No chemicals are put into the body. You are wrapped in a cloth and buried underneath either an existing tree or where a tree will soon flourish. Your body feeds that tree, and in time, you become a tree and you provide shade for all those you love.  I wanted this when I was fifteen, and I still want this.

I know it must sound morose for a fifteen year old to be contemplating how and why he exists, but you must understand. I do not feel that death is something to be kept in the closet and forgotten. I believe we should embrace our mortality and see death for what it is: a returning of ourselves to the source. This comfort can be found in religion, but I wasn’t religious when I was in high school. I was poetic, and I found this to be my truth then, and it is so much a part of my being now as I’ve found myself becoming more and more spiritual.

None of us are immune to the follies of this life. And we shouldn’t be. All we need to be is grateful. Grateful for the love, the stupidity, the embarrassment, the pain, the joy, the sorrow, the dirt that gets under our fingernails and will not come out, the stomach aches, the moments we succeed, the moments we fail, the compliments, the insults, the constant beating of our heart that acts like our own personal rhythm section, cheering us on and pushing us forward. This gratitude makes us a part of this life, giving us a source of hope that we cannot see, but can feel in every part of our being.

Here now is a new teaser trailer for NIRVANA: A SHORT FILM ABOUT CANCER

I will leave you now with another song. And we will all go about our lives. And there will be tears and there will be anger… but, most of all, there will be love.


-       Jon

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