In my last post I ended by mentioning that the conversation in which I participated had left me with some dilemmas.  Not too long ago I was also asked about where I felt I was in life, in what metaphorical season I saw myself.  In some ways these are, or could be, separate topics, but I will instead incorporate them into one writing.  Somehow an interrelationship seems to exist, some connection which, despite my best efforts, comes to bear given the this omnipresent disease.

In this thing called life we tend to cycle through phases, through different seasons, which, metaphorically speaking, align with those we see in nature.  The lines often grey, but typically we align childhood with spring, young adulthood as summer, fall as our midlife and winter our rise to being a ‘senior’.  But how does this paradigm fit with someone like me, someone like Marilyn, who, in the case of the latter never became a senior and in my case, will, statistically speaking, be gone before I reach 60?  Did Marilyn ever reach winter, will I?

I think when it comes to seasons it is all relative and perhaps not so simplistic.  Think of the Mayfly and the giant tortoise, isn’t it all relative?  Perhaps in the end there really are no seasons, but rather cycles of learning similar to those biological functions inherent to our being, the flow of blood through our veins or the passing of ait through our lungs or of food through our digestive tract. Perhaps it is an amalgam of experiences, exposures to that which the world brings and our reactions thereto.  Or maybe, there are simply chapters in the book we call life, the length of which can vary between a short story and an epic novel.  I wonder if the death of a child is, perhaps, the short story, that of Marilyn a novel with mine yet undetermined.  In the end, the duration question seems most intertwined with the disease.  Do I plan for one more chapter, for several or for many?  Do I plan my life around dying in September, or continue upon a December trajectory?  Interesting questions when it is likely you carry your killer, but truly have no idea of when it will decide to perform its execution.

A number of people asked, and others continue to question, my thoughts on my future.  Most find it peculiar how I can do things like offer people a chance to participate in a pool which attempts to predict my PSA.  Some see me as a bit of an anomaly in that I rarely express any suggestion of a problem.  They laugh with me when I joke about things like taking substantial risks, risks which could afford my demise, by saying “What’s the worst that will happen, I’ll die?”.  Some, not most, find solace in my view that I live life as I would, without regard for the disease and under the premise that if I focus on the disease, in the end, it wins twice.  For those who understand this paradigm, who can accept that I’ve acknowledged little direct control over my ultimate outcome, know I will live as if there is no end and if life writes the last chapter tomorrow, I’m good.

Then there are those who see this knowledge, this idea of knowing I likely harbor my ultimate demise, as an opportunity to live like the song says, “like I was dying”.  They suggest I create my bucket list, that I execute on all the things I’ve ever wanted to do in life, to live, in some ways, with reckless abandon.  The interesting thing about this approach is, if taken, the disease once again wins.  If I had no idea of a disease lurking within me, if there were no doctors suggesting that based on the rates of progression and current ‘state of the art’, I may live 2, perhaps 3 more years, would I live as these people suggest?  My sense is not, that I’d plan as if I’d reach December, if my calendar would continue turning the pages of the months, of the successive years.

So then, back to the original question, where do I see myself, in what season, if that is the paradigm, do I currently reside.  I guess in the end there is no one answer because I’d like to think I’ve not conformed to that paradigm.  My view is that in many ways I remain child-like, in others chronologically nearing the end.  I’d think, regardless of the disease, that I’m just alive, moving progressively through the day-to-day experiences presented me with an eye out for those things offered to learn.  In my view, there are no seasons in life, no cycles or chapters, there is just life and it is there for each to consume as fits their appetite.

Happy reading, happy thoughts and happy trails.

As always, feel free to comment or you may email me at lifeabstractions@gmail.com

ciao

Lifesabstractions

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