I’ve been listening to Michael Franti music when I run along the ocean lately. Actually, since I listen to his music as I run, it usually turns into more of a dance in a general direction than a full-on run. I temper the dancing some when people are around, but none the less, it turns the otherwise impossible misery of running into an enjoyable event. Two days ago, as I ran/danced, I found myself with my arms up in the air as Franti sang repeatedly, “High, high, high, throw your hands up high, ‘cause you never know how long you gonna live ‘till you die.” He also sings in that song (Life in the City) about telling people you care about that you love them because you never know when the time will come when you won’t have that chance again.
“If you love somebody better tell them so,
You never ever ever know when they gonna go
They love you back, just give thanks
Can’t keep love like money in the bank.”
That run was quite sublime for me, coming on the heels of my Declaration of Theistic Independence. If you’ll recall from that writing, the spiritual heart of what remains for me after all fantasies and constructions of a god outside of myself fall away, is that this life with its finite number of heart beats is all that we truly have. So I found myself on that run deeply appreciating the chance that I have to experience this life, see these flowers, wave at these whales passing, feel my own accelerated heart beat, see these rich gray overcast colors mixing with the healthy rain-fed greens, breathe this vibrant life-filled ocean air.
The shift that seems to be happening for me is that I am not looking outside of myself to explain the perfection and sacredness that already exists right here, right now. Nothing needs to be changed, including myself, and no deity correctly incanted to, to be able to relax into the simple and perfect here and now. This also ties, perhaps circumstantially, perhaps in a more integrated fashion, into the movement of ‘knowing,’ of accessing and speaking my own truth, a truth that is not so intermingled with the needs and truths of others. It’s almost as if I haven’t known how to ask the questions, “what is true for me?” or “what do I want?” I’ve been too attendant to others, to my own need to not be rejected, to trying to please others, to making nice-nice, to being the ‘good boy,’ all at the expense of ready access to my own truth, my own voice.
So happy birthday mom. Thank you for providing me with a ground of love that remains to this day, a love that didn’t need to be spoken but often was. Thank you for your gift of music and song which moves through me daily. I miss you, yet your passing feels simply like it is part of this moment’s perfection of what is. Dad, I love you too. And Steve as well. And so many of you in my life who give this love-filled heart a chance to feel and express.
“You never know, you never know.”