The Best We Can Do


I lay in bed last night awake for hours. Hot. Sweaty. Frustrated. Ready to implode. What am I doing here? What is it really all about? Some intensity inside of me was trying to figure something out. Trying to figure out whether I was on the “right” or “wrong” side of this thing called Life.

A professor friend of mine died this past weekend. She was the one who interviewed me and had, without even knowing me, somehow decided I was the one for the job. I never went through the “normal channels” to be hired. She was the one who, without me knowing, kept me from being laid off when the trustees wanted to cut corners and have one of the full time faculty teach my classes. She told the trustees I was the only one who could do what I do. For someone who truly knew me so little, she knew me better than some who have known me longest. She had a kind of built-in faith about me, and it gave me a strength and a confidence that I was lacking at the time.

I actually love death. And I love heartfelt services which necessarily come on the heels of death. Why? Because for that little window of time, everyone’s head snaps back into place. Everyone stops pretending, if even a little, that we don’t know. Everyone stops pretending, if even for a day, that the normal things we run around and chase, pale in comparison to this moment in time.

Our spirits are daily breaking. Each and every day we put more faith and more attention into a machine than we do the sanctity and preciousness of our own lives. We think about our devices more than we do each other. There was a time when we were schooled in placing those energies into Something Greater. Something not man-made. For those of us already grown, maybe we can mend our way back. But what about the children? What about the ones who are being schooled daily to believe that their faith, attention, energies, and the life force itself belongs to something that beeps?

I don’t know if putting these things together is somehow uncouth. All that I can tell you is that when I woke this morning I had a strong sense that all of  it must  be included. That the best that I can do is to decide to notice, and decide to observe deeply. And to act in the only way I know how.