Warning: I have no idea where I am going with this post and I may get into some religious stuff (as the title implies) which I tend to shy away from on this blog. I am musing and not proselytizing and I am have no intention of offending anyone, but read at your own risk.
I am trying very hard, which may be why I am not succeeding, to be more "centered" as of late. The noise of life gets very loud and it is easy to be distracted. Sometimes we can get so distracted from what is important that we lose hours, days, years, life-times to things which are inconsequential. Life is so incredibly short. A childhood friend of my brother's was buried and an amazing WWII veteran and local peace activist died this week. Both deaths have me thinking and mourning and wondering why there has to be so much suffering in this life. It also makes me think, as I often do, that our lives are so fleeting and it makes me want to love as much as I can in the time I have left.
This is tough. It really shouldn't be, but things get in the way. Chores need to be done, things need to be tended to, blogs need to be updated. Even in this week when I am remembering Bob "Grandpa" Wahlfeldt, someone who was an wonderful example of living in the moment, loving, and learning all the time. He seemed to find a connection with everyone and find beauty and peace in every day. I met him through AWARE, a local anti-war, anti-racism activist group. He would always have a smile and more often than not a vegan recipe he had found somewhere. He wasn't vegan, but he thought of me when he saw a recipe I could eat and took the time to share it with me. He always had a story to tell and love to give to the children. Rob went to visit him for lunch at the nursing home he was living at and he was not surprised to see Bob knew everyone there and remembered their families and things about their lives. He connected with Rob as a Navy guy and they would swap "sea" stories. Bob was possibly the most thoughtful person I think I've ever had the pleasure to meet. The world is not as bright a place with Bob gone and everyone who knew him will miss his presence. He lived his life as one who knows how precious life is and used every minute. He told me a story once about how he had been healed years ago when the doctors all thought he would die. It was one of those awesome stories that leaves you believing in amazing things, but also make you wonder if an "old man" could be making some of this up or embellishing things just a bit. It always left me with a feeling that Bob felt the time he was living was "bonus time". I admired that very much, but in reality every second is bonus time.
Still, knowing this, I don't hug enough, love enough, and seize the day enough. Days come and days go and I let them go by without really living. Why is that so difficult? I know life is beautiful, but I also see so much suffering, even in my safe part of the world. I've never seen a war, never seen a shooting, never really feared for my life, never wanted for food, never worried about shelter, but still I see loved ones suffer with cancer or other hideous diseases, I've been depressed and angry, worried, confused, and I've felt despair. I guess this is part of the reason I've chosen to live a vegan lifestyle...to cut down on the amount of suffering I personally cause. It is something very small in the grand scheme of things, but it feels better to me. I just wish I could be more compassionate in other aspects of my life. Living compassion while working for peace is what I believe Bob did. I will miss him, but I am lucky to have witnessed this small glimpse of his life. That is what makes life worth living, for me...touching others and being touched by them in this brief time we have.