It’s Friday evening, and the house is quiet. Pat took the kids to violin lessons. I am sitting on my bed and outlining my body, like a snow angel’s shadow, are scraps of paper scrawled with lists, plans, and ideas. A waterlogged notebook lies to my side; it's opened to this morning’s journal entry. A desktop paper calendar, ahead of me, is marked with 14 X’s, frantic arrows, emphatic underlines, and several doodles. Then there is a stack of sticky notes, a handful of pens and pencils, and that bracelet that I have to take off when I am typing.
I’ve spent the afternoon planning the content that I want to share with you in upcoming blog posts debuting in future weeks. There is so much that I want to do - so much that I want to share with you, and there is so little time.
In fact, time is what I had started to write about for this Monday’s blog - time and intention. Actually, I had written about a helpful exercise that prompts you to write your ideal obituary as a means to identify your life’s goals and intentions.
I like this exercise because I have this fear that I am going to get to the end and have regrets. I’m worried that I will have not done all of the things that I wanted to do.
I want to live a life that it is wild and free, that is creative and purposeful, and I believe that it’s my mission in life to inspire others to express their own creativity and their truest selves. Meanwhile, I want to live a life of healing, growing, and expanding.
As I tried to edit my rough draft about writing our own obituaries, I couldn’t bring myself to continue, because this afternoon in my home town of Aurora, IL, where my whole family still lives, there was an armed shooter at a local factory not far from where I went to school and grew up. In fact, the shooting happened in my family's neighborhood. I can not write about imagined obituaries now knowing about the five innocent victims of that vengeful, violent rage. I can’t imagine what suffering their families must be going through tonight, and my heart goes out to them.
And I don’t know what else I could possibly add to the rhetoric about gun violence and gun restrictions, that hasn’t already been said. Strangely, there was one line of my rough draft that oddly stood out from all of the rest. It was the final line, and it really has no connection to the rest of the piece. It isn’t even a complete thought. It reads:
“How we treat one another, how we talk to ourselves, how we love one another”
I think this pretty much sums it all up. Whether we are writing our imagined obituaries or real ones, let's be mindful of “how we treat one another, how we talk to ourselves, and how we love one another”.
Life is short and never certain. How have you loved today?
Hey Artist, Writers, and Makers
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Anna Lentz, artist, writer, and creativity coach who blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.