February 09, 2009

Life Is Too Short

I love music. It is one of the great joys of my life. Music is a source of infinite wisdom. It is joy and it is sorrow. It enriches my life. Sometimes I stumble onto certain songs and find that I play them over and over because something in them touches me.

Wake Up by Arcade Fire has something in it that grabs me, but I haven't quite put my finger on it. The chorus in which everyone sings together reminds me a bit of walking to the Kotel just before Shabbos begins. As you walk through the quarter you can hear the hum of people davening.

For those who can't relate try to imagine being at a concert where thousands of people sing along. There is an electricity, an energy that you can feel. It is intense. Music tells a story and I love stories and that really leads to the main topic of this post. I want to live far longer than I am going to.

The Shmata Queen have endless discussions about life and what happens when you die. We debate and argue about what comes next, if anything. She has death issues and so do I, but they're different.

In December of 2005 I wrote a post called Eternal Life in which I touched upon my desire to live long enough to learn and master many skills. That really hasn't changed. In fact in some ways it has grown stronger. As I become more conscious of my own mortality and more interested in ensuring that I truly live my life I find myself feeling a bit crazed.

There are so many things that I want to do. There are so many places to visit and so many skills to master. How can I possibly do it all within this lifespan and how can I do it at a lesiurely place so that I might enjoy it all.

Oftentimes when I look back at old posts I find myself cringing because I feel like I missed the mark. I look at it and think that the writing is too rough, too choppy, too whatever. But sometimes I look back and I find that I can still tie into whatever I felt that day. Sometimes I look back and I see that I have changed.

This time I don't see any profound changes. I still want to master all the skills that I listed there and more. It would be nice to become a doctor and a scientist. It would be fantastic to have a chance to become a history teacher and an archeologist. I can add several more items to the list without even trying hard.

Given the time there are a lot of things to do like revisit and rework old posts like Jewish Sex- Between The Sheets. Ok, that I could do. I really could go back and I suppose that sometimes I do. But let's not get too far afield.

It is well understood that it I could dramatically increase my lifespan I would. And if I could turn back time I would. If I had the power I'd change certain things. Maybe I'd fix it so that I spent that time in Israel or maybe I would have been in that dorm at Indiana, who knows.

I have to focus on what I can do. I have to focus on what makes me happy. I have to focus on what drives me, the things and people that make my heart pound. I have to focus on doing those things that make life exciting. And I am doing that.

Clarification for those who are interested. I do not believe that life is always about excitement. No matter how good it may be there are moments in which it is going to be dull, boring and unpleasant. Understood and accepted.

But that doesn't have to be the primary thing nor does it have to define me.

I believe that you can always reinvent yourself and I believe that some dreams can become your reality. All it takes is a will to find the way.

Now if only I had a thousand years I could do so much more. I guess that I can settle for another 90 or so.


shavuatov said...

It has to be an age thing - it has to be. Why am I thinking these very similar thoughts to you now? I was thinking them before you started writing them, so it can't be you influencing me. Or maybe it's me moving to a new city last year that has opened up my eyes to the opportunities that are out there - things don't always have to be the way they are now and I can change things...

But where is the time available to make these things happen? Or maybe I should forget about the lack of time and just do them anyway. Try out the things I think I want to do and see if they work, if they are what I expected?

Time to get on with these things. And I may live to be 130 - you never know...

Yours connectedly


V-Grrrl said...

I have never longed for a long life but one well lived.

Acknowledging that it can end any time sometimes brings me a sense of urgency and sometimes makes me relax.

Urgency because like you, I want to focus. Relaxation because I realize the goal is to savor and enjoy the journey and not simply barrel at top speed toward some distant goal or destination.

I used to be a distance runner, so I understand all about pacing...

I've made choices in my life that I've questioned. Different decisions might have radically altered the look of my life, but I'm not convinced they would have granted me more happiness as a result.

I have had griefs and struggles but mostly I've had a good life full of good people. If it ends today, I won't feel cheated.

Jack said...

Try out the things I think I want to do and see if they work, if they are what I expected?
To me it boils down to what can you live with.

I have had griefs and struggles but mostly I've had a good life full of good people. If it ends today, I won't feel cheated.
That is the place I am trying to get to.