I wrote about a wonderful woman in the blog entitled Orange Carpets and Little Deaths…or something like that. She came over again last week and we finalized the Advanced Medical Directive and living will. I was proud to have created a Living will that made her laugh out loud. P is a woman who has helped shepherd many terminally ill people to the end of this life and she has a remarkably poetic and mystical and at the same time brass tacks way of approaching it.
The day began with Kathy bringing my week’s supply of food over, lovingly cooked by Cecilia and very delicious. I had another fall – my first with someone besides Mac around to witness. For some reason it was very hard to have someone around for that. You’d think the opposite. That fall and then ensuing pain which crept in throughout the day plus the meeting with P resulted in one of “those” days.
I sit perched between two worlds. One foot is in the world I have always inhabited. In that world I have been so happy and fulfilled making shows, making music, making love, making jokes. It’s an action-packed universe where I am this energetic force barreling my way from adventure to adventure, making people laugh, connecting, doing. I have always loved this world and I don’t think I’ve squandered too much of my time here. Okay, there was that brief addiction to General Hospital and maybe a little too much time in Target, but beyond that, I’ve lived, I think. I’ve lived.
My other foot beckons the rest of me to join it. The pull to this other, quieter place is seductive. In this world I can read the same poem all night, sit and gaze at the Berkeley Hills for hours, and feel myself drawn to a place where my inner universe completely overshadows the world of the other foot. It is the most amazing journey – vast and infinite and impossible to describe. It’s only mine you see and the closest I can come to a definition is Ps who described it as being akin to a medium – a foot in both worlds.
Trouble is my weight is centered between these worlds. I’m in limbo and its painful sometimes. Letting go of the trappings of the first world, clinging to the things I’ve loved so dearly. Observing my body betray me or maybe not. Maybe it’s leading me to this deeper knowing.
There are times when I’m so excited for this adventure. There are times when I think I will turn into pure love. The other times, the times I long for what is lost, are almost…but not quite…unbearable.
The trick to a happy ending is this: don’t decide the ending ahead of time – leaves too much room for disappointment.
I’ve been thinking about bucket lists lately ( a la the Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman movie). When I first wrote about my list it was unrealistic. It included being around for events over which I have no control. My updated bucket list is reassuring because besides the cliché of traveling to places I’ve never been, the rest are very simple. Many involve things I’ve done many many times and enjoyed thoroughly.
The list includes using a hotel minibar in flagrant disregard of the financial ramifications, sitting in front of a roaring fire with a snifter of brandy and driving in a limo with 70s music blaring, sticking my head out of the roof window and yelling woohoo. It also includes driving my convertible one last time, singing in front of a big band and being reckless about love.
If dying well is a lesson in living well, this is what I glean from the list:
1) minibar: don’t let money be your guiding principle. It’s fine to be prudent but if your financial choices stand in the way of your happiness or the well-being of someone you love, spend the damned money.
2) Brandy: make the quiet, peaceful moments as big of a priority as the daily checklist. Trust me – when you know you’re going to die the checklist doesn’t mean jack shit and it sure as hell doesn’t make the bucket list.
3) Limo: have fun.. Duh.
4) Driving: it’s a gift to be able to drive. You don’t know that until you can’t anymore but take my word for it. Enjoy every little thing you do.
5) Singing: well that’s just me.
6) Be reckless about love: why not? Tell someone you love them even if you don’t know if they reciprocate. Give your love freely and without expectation. Love begets love though not necessarily from the place you expected. Also don’t be afraid to write Hallmark-esqe blogs. Corny is also true and if you’re sharing corny shit because you love your readers then who cares if one person out of a hundred thinks you are too precious.
Also on my list – go to Pacific Grove and get up at dawn to watch the butterflies open their wings, slow dance with a cute guy ( this one is time sensitive so help me out fellas!), go to Disneyland with Mac ( no really!) and love, love, love all of you.
OKAY – so here’s the homework: Hit comments and leave your bucket list. Then make plans to do something on the list and report back with a comment. By the way folks, the comments are the best part of this blog. Check them out and be prepared to be amazed!