hanging on to this body

hand 3

A couple of weeks ago I had a suspicious-looking lesion on my arm biopsied. The doctor thought it might be basal-cell cancer, although the lab results indicated (thank goodness) that it was just a type of dermatitis. Another mole on my face was blasted with liquid nitrogen, and it’s in the process of healing. Then today I noticed an awful, scabby-looking thing on the top of my left ear. Here we go again.

Because one of my loved ones has been battling cancer for nearly a year, and because one of my cats was deathly ill this week (more on that story tomorrow), I’ve been thinking a lot about life and death lately. Today when I discovered the third lesion on my body, my first thought was: “If I die soon, what do I want to do with my life between now and then?”

My second thought was, “Nothing matters but love.”

My third thought was, “How can I serve light?”

I don’t know how long I’ve got in this body. Maybe less than 24 hours, maybe another 24 years, maybe another 55 (which would allow me to celebrate the 200th birthday of my country two months after my own, hundredth, birthday). Here’s what I believe, though: Our bodies have incredible capacity to heal themselves. And death is not a failure.

Some things I want to do while I’m still hanging onto this body:

  • Be breathed by life.
  • Live every moment as fully as possible, right to the tips of my fingers and toes.
  • Laugh and cry. But cling to neither.
  • Always listen to (and act on) my gut.
  • Let go of the past, and not worry about the future.
  • Not care what other people think. One bit. (More on this next week.)
  • Every day, love every person I meet, unconditionally.
  • If possible, make palpable to them the love that the universe has for them.
  • Leave every place I go better than when I came.
  • As much as possible, give away all the creative work that flows through me.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? ~ Mary Oliver

Final inspiration for living life as fully as possible: Here’s an awe-inspiring video that I found recently on Pinterest. I can’t seem to find the embedding code on Vimeo, but please don’t let that discourage you – you won’t be disappointed if you click through. It’s the trailer for a video about a group of French highliners and base jumpers, and it’s breathtaking…

I believe I can Fly (Flight of the Frenchies) by Sebastien Montaz-Rosset