I’m a broken record when it comes to my belief that we live into the stories we tell ourselves. I’m of an age when I’ve less time to live than I’ve already lived. The exigent nature of the ticking clock provokes a sense of Carpe Diem.
When I was younger that expression would drive me to Do Something for as my father said, “I can fix wrong, I can’t fix nothing.” Now, I’m more inclined to pause, reflect and focus on what do I truly want to reap from the time I have left. What would I like my legacy to be?
The following short story and poem reflect my current position.
Remember: You Matter. Your Stories Matter. Tell Them Well!
The Storytellers Channel
I Made My Peace
For years I flew around North America. As a consultant my clients were stretched all across the contiguous 48 states and Canada. I flew in big and small planes. My least favorite were the planes so small I could not stand up straight walking to my seat.
I was on one such tiny airship flying home to Richmond from Toronto when we experienced serious turbulence. At the time I was an experienced road warrior. I had been on planes that having hit air pockets had dropped hundreds of feet. I had been on planes blown sideways by sheering winds. Turbulence had tossed me around like a cork in a tub. But I had never experienced the sensation of the plane being blown backward.
I was seated on the aisle and the lady on my right had the window seat. As the conditions worsened she began asking questions and I did my best to calmly assure her we would be OK. She grabbed my hand and I thought she might break it. The last time I’d experienced a grip like that was when my wife was in labor. I was surprised at how calm I was, both on the surface and behind my mask.
It was obvious I had no control over the situation. I’m a fairly observant Episcopalian and reciting The Lord’s Prayer is a common part of my day. I’d already observed that ritual before take off. And I must admit I’m sure I engaged in that silent conversation numerous more times during the flight. But what I still find odd to this day was my only concern if we were to go down was, “Lord, please don’t let anybody be mad with me.”
I’ve had friends over the years who have been estranged from people at the time of their death and the ones left behind were stuck with unsettled business. All I could think was, “I don’t want to leave anyone with that baggage.”
Well, spoiler alert, the plane landed safely. My hand while bruised remained in one piece. I don’t remember if I’d ever feared death before that flight, but I do not now. I’m fearful of pain, but not death. A calm came over me during that flight that remains with me.
I have no idea what awaits me after I shuffle off this mortal coil. But I don’t fear that next adventure. I’m concerned with what I can control. The rest is grace and I’ve made my peace with that.
This is just one of the stories I live in to.
The musings below have come out of my thoughts about what I’ll do with the time I have left.
I’m interested in hearing from y’all.
What are the stories y’all live in to?
Before I Go
Before I go, I’d like to restore my body
To mend the ravages of careless use
I’d like to heal the wounds and resurrect the spring in my step
I’d like to dance again, with abandon.
Before I go, I’d like to regain my voice
To cut through the scars
To cleanse the detritus and dust off the velvet tones
I’d like to sing again, fearlessly.
Before I go, I’d like to heal the hurt
To mend fences and restore trust
To forgive, so others can forget
I’d like to be a balm, soothing.
Before I go, I’d like my first reaction to be love
To feel secure and not threatened
To respond from strength, fearlessly, automatically
I’d like to embrace whatever comes my way, joyfully.
Before I go, I’d like the mention of my name to bring a smile
To the face of all who hear it
I’d like my name to be a blessing.
I Want to Hear from You
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what storytelling topics you’d like me to explore.
Til next time,