Honey Badger is not alone. Dead people don’t care, either. Even if they’re going to be reincarnated, they couldn’t possibly care less, I assume, about what anybody thought of them in life. The past is a lock.
What matters, if anything does, to the dead as much as to the living is what’s yet possible (if that includes reincarnation). The only way to get to the future, furthermore, is to be present in the present. All of the yesterdays that ever were can only be altered—at least without a time machine, which, of course, must be built in the present or future since there isn’t one yet, other than the hard to find Vernean one or the wonderful TARDIS of course—by improving the outcomes of those yesterdays in the present and future. Funny how that all works.
But what it tells me is that while I can (I very much hope) learn from the past, there’s no benefit in dwelling on it. And I don’t even think there’s much to be gained from living exclusively for the future. I’m not guaranteed one, after all. I could be caught unawares by a fatal disease, slip on a blot of mud and fall off a cliff, or be eaten by aliens tomorrow. And I can’t be sitting around knitting my brow and fretting over whether anyone will express admiration and gratitude for the wonderfulness of me after that happens.
I’d like to be way too busy until tomorrow, or whenever that cutoff time arrives, to expend any real energy conjuring up what grand eulogies I’ll get and what perfect art will be applied to my tomb, when I’ll be much too dead to care. Not to mention that whether I’m cremated [post-mortem, thankyouverymuch!] as I intend or it’s because there’s nothing left of me but my socks and hat after the aliens ingest me, there won’t be any need for a tomb. In any case, joy and contentment should be usurping all of the space that any such thoughts would aim to occupy. I prefer to think that I’m living out my eulogy, and lest it be of any interest to anyone but me, the most fitting one I can imagine would be that I was too busy living to sit around for a funerary portrait.
I know that I am loved. That is the best of all possible epitaphs I could possibly desire. And it’s a cheering enough thought to keep me occupied for as long as I get to be in the Here and Now. I guess my job is to pass it along to those in my immediate vicinity, my small orbit, so that they might be able to make the same claim.
Being loved is the most important thing of all
Great great great post! Very inspirational! Thank you!
Thank *you*! It inspires me more than I can say when kind people offer such support and generous comments.
I agree, I do it, I live it, now yesterday, no tomorrow, right now this minute I am enjoying your writing and your photo thank you.
It’s all we really *can* do, no matter how much we sometimes try to fool ourselves into believing otherwise! 😉 For this moment, I am certainly happy that you enjoyed the post. 🙂
Your thought about being “in the Here and Now” reminded me of the song “While I’m Here” by Phil Ochs, (who sadly ended his own Then and There in 1976):
Looks like the song’s title is officially “When I’m Gone,” but I remember it as “While I’m Here,” which focuses on the present rather than the future.
Of course I want to read on. It’s YOU writing.
“I know that I am loved. That is the best of all possible epitaphs I could possibly desire.”
Many thanks, beautiful Diana. 🙂
Omg…! Things do happen to shadows 😉
No kidding! 🙂
I love this post Kathryn. Let’s live every minute and even when we aren’t being busy let’s be busy not being busy! Yes indeed you are loved 😊 xxx
You are so gracious. It’s a little poignant coming back to this post at the moment, when we just learned a dear friend died yesterday (though not unexpectedly) of cancer. Neil was Richard’s first music teacher and the one who inspired him to embrace music as a lifelong love and career, and lived his last months as fully and gracefully as anyone I’ve ever seen. He will be sorely missed, but helped reinforce my convictions about the value of full-presence more than anybody else has ever done.
Much love to you!
Bottom line: love is all there is. This humble reader might (emphasizing ‘might’) say, “loved by at least one”, that would be me. All others, how can one know, really know?
Since love is all there is, then, giving it is much more meaningful than receiving it…
So sweetly said. I cannot improve upon it, my dear.
Of all the things one might have on a bucket list, to love and be loved should be number one.
“All you need is love…” ♫ ♫ and of course, living in the here and now, definitely a motto for our family! Beautiful post, Kathryn! xo
I think I can hear you singing from here…. 😉
Lovely, Kathryn. I have to admit that I have dwelled in the past (especially in terms of reincarnation) and my ‘being there’ has been important to how I have progressed; but I also greatly appreciate (more and more, as I get older) the now … the present … the gift of being right where I am supposed to be. Love is in our lives in so many ways … sometimes playing hide n’seek but never missing … it always IN ourselves to give … something that I LOVE to write about … especially in the unconventional sense. XO
…and you do write about it so beautifully, so soulfully!