Friedrich Nietzsche once asked:What if a demon were to creep after you one night, in your loneliest loneliness, and say, 'This life which you live must be lived by you once again and innumerable times more; and every pain and joy and thought and sigh must come again to you, all in the same sequence. The eternal hourglass will again and again be turned and you with it, dust of the dust!' Would you throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse that demon? Or would you answer, 'Never have I heard anything more divine'?
I know for sure that I would do it again again, gratefully. (well, I wouldn't be to keen about the demon part!)
It seems to me that I'm constantly aware of how quickly life is passing me by and how fragile it is. Natasha Richardson died yesterday as a result of a fall while skiing on the bunny slope. The effing bunny slope! That just seems wrong.
I keep thinking of Liam Neeson (her husband) in Love Actually. Do you remember him in it? He played the recently widowed father who struggled with this own grief, but ultimately found comfort in helping his son heal. I remember watching him in that role and thinking in the back of my mind "this is only a movie, Liam Neeson is happily married to Natasha Richardson, don't start blubbering or people will stare."
My father is a neurologist (brain doctor) and when I was a kid (0-7yrs) he was completing medical school and his residency. He saw hundreds of freak accidents involving children that caused irreversible brain damage and death. He was originally going to be a pediatric neurologist, but once I was born, he felt like all the kids that came in were his children. Every single case had a name and a story and he brought them home with him. All the freak accidents he saw - these became my litmus test. There was no diving into pools, jumping on trampolines, ice skating, gymnastics, skiing, riding in a convertible (or any another vehicle that had a soft top) even a pogo stick was off limits!
As I got older and he switched to adult neurology, the forbidden activities list became a little less stringent. But somethings were still off limits- especially skiing and gymnastics. But I wanted to be a gymnast, so I practiced flipping, etc., at my house, in the yard, on the jungle gym. My mom finally convinced my dad that it would be safer if I took some lessons rather than trying to teach myself. I guess you could say that was the beginning of the end for me- when I started doing forbidden activities on the sly.
The first time I went skiing, I was in the 4th grade and it was with the Girl Scouts. And when my dad found out that my mom was going to let me SKI, I don't think my he spoke to her for an entire week. He was so mad, but he was more afraid. When you see bad things happen all around you, it's so easy to envision that happening in your own life and you want to do everything you can to prevent it. I get that now.
During my dark and twisty, dramatic, and tearful adolescence, (I'm being a drama queen) I found a lot of comfort in quotations. I would put on my bathroom mirror, my car visor, the front of my notebooks- they reminded me that other people struggled with the same things I did. There is something very powerful about written words that we pass down over time, that mean something when they're read.
I think this one is appropriate for my mood today:
We cannot banish dangers, but we can banish fears. We must not demean life by
standing in awe of death.
While I would love to put a protective suit around Spencer and keep her in a padded room, safe from all harm- I realize that she wouldn't be enjoying life, but fearing it. I can't keep her in a bubble, and that scares me, but I guess that's how life works. You have to realize that you are living every moment of it and try to create something lasting- because for sure- one day we won't be here.A life of purpose and passion, that is what I want for Spencer. And if some freak accident were to happen to me, that's what I hope people would say about my life. But for today, Spence is asleep, safe and snug in my arms without a care in the world- how great is that?