On this day (May 16th) in 1990, Muppets creator Jim Henson died. He left this note for his children. (There’s a little more information at lettersofnote.com.)
I’m amazed/saddened by people who are so afraid of making a mistake that they come up with a million different reasons as excuses to justify why something can’t be done. They always say, “I would do XYZ, but ...”
All I can think to say to them is, “Quit thinking and just do it.” Or, as Cher said in Moonstruck, “Snap out of it!”
Really, what’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? You’re going to die? Well, I have news for you, no matter what you do, you’re going to die anyway. (I’ve gone unconscious seven times over the last couple of years, and believe me, at that point there’s nothing you can do about it.)
A little personal enlightenment (from March 22, 2014):
Since I started passing out a few weeks ago, I’ve had conversations with doctors, nurses, friends, and even a shaman caregiver about life, death, quality of life, goals, and desires. I had a hard time answering some of those questions, and yesterday I realized why that was:
If you’re truly living in the present moment, those questions don’t make any sense! You can’t think about life, death, the past, or the future if you’re absorbed in the present moment.
When eating, just eat. When planning for the future, live fully in that moment of planning for the future. And when writing text like this, just write. That’s all.
espn has a nice story on how teammates of Jose Fernandez dealt with his death.
Many people seem to struggle to say things that are either pleasant or unpleasant. I can’t speak for anyone else, but having gone through the process of not knowing if I was going to live through many days last year I find it easier to say pretty much anything now. It’s like you know your time is limited, and beyond that, you truly have nothing to lose. If I had died one of those times instead of just getting sick and passing out I wouldn’t be here now, so it’s like I got some free tickets to have fun at the circus for a little while longer.
(I suppose that sometimes when you’re dealing with the opposite sex you have to be a little careful. Today I told a woman that I liked her hair (it was tinted red-ish), but then when I got “that look” I clarified it by adding that I didn’t say that because I wanted her to come over tonight to bake some cookies, I just liked what she had done with her hair.)
“And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
Happy Halloween from Millenium, and Revelations 6:8.
In a way I feel fortunate to have passed out quite a few times now. It’s like it’s my body’s way of saying, “Look at you, taking life for granted again — here comes the OFF switch!”
(Fortunately it has just been a Pause switch so far.)
People who haven’t been seriously sick before have a different set of priorities than I do. I remember eight years when I went on a yoga retreat in Mexico, a young girl boasted that she had read one book a day while we were on retreat. I didn’t say anything to her, but I thought, “Well, I laid on the beach, swam in the ocean, walked through a cemetery, went off the grid and ate some funky food at some out of the way restaurants, drank tequila in the town square every night with the locals, and learned a little Spanish.”
Neither way is necessarily good or bad, just different.
Although a small woman physically, Dipa Ma was a giant of a meditation teacher.
While reading a book about her, it’s neat to see that while people use different practices and words, those who “go deep” all come to the same conclusion. This is a quote from her in the book, Dipa Ma: The Life and Legacy of a Buddhist Master:
“At each stage of enlightenment the fetters (hindrances) are extinguished, until (one day) they are gone. The fetters are related to birth in the same way that oil feeds the light of a lamp. As the oil becomes less and less, the light from the wick becomes less and less. When the oil is gone, the light is gone. Similarly, once the fetters are extinguished, the cycle of rebirth ends. From this, you can understand that birth and rebirth are in your hands.”
Asked if he made the album feeling it would be his last, he said, “Not specifically, but at this stage in the game, you know that all your activities are subject to abrupt cancellation.”
Amen to that, brother. That quote is from this article about Leonard Cohen.