Tag Archives: healthy lifestyle

Bird Wise

The sparrow picks away at some wiggly delight in the yard.  The young morning is sweet with new light.  Work, already.

The natural wont for us to be busy.  Eons old, the compulsion can not be stifled. Fend for a living.

When is man happier than when he provides for his family?  When is woman more confident than when pursuing her passion?  Innate career goals.

I took a moment, a long quiet nurturing moment, to watch the scrub jay sitting in happy calm upon a fence post.   I learned  much.

The winged territorial animal just IS.   He seemed content within himself and his circumstance.  I thought.

Awareness has its drawbacks.  The jay is unconscious of the abstract. Free from its weight.

I released the stress that greeted my day.  Instead I simply saw the present.   Minuscule part of an infinite whole.

I sit and hear a robin perched high in a confident cedar.  Her song is cheerful, seductive.  I am reminded.

It is important to listen, just watch and observe.  Thus I feed the well waters of my soul. I enjoy.

She has no care! she will survive today and that is all that matters.   She sings, not knowing that I am moved.   I have my own song.

I will sing it.

 

 

 

 

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Obsessed with Life, But not with Living

Have you heard about Cassandra?  She is a seventeen year old girl with lymphoma who is currently being forced against her will to 1)  stay in a hospital 2) receive chemotherapy treatments that can cause life long damage and infertility.

There’s a huge debate between her rights as a person who should be able to choose her own destiny and the medical necessity of extending her life because……, well……, life.

But the issue brings up a deeper point for me that I believe we need to consider as a society.

In this day and age, thank god, we don’t have to worry about dying from a simple little thing like a tooth infection or strep throat.  AIDS is very close to being lassoed and corralled and robots are helping with surgeries now.  Our medical technology is wonderful and as a wearer of digital hearing aids I am grateful for its advances.

Yet in our effort to maximize our lifespans, I am concerned that in the end we lessen the overall value and meaning of life.  You see, if just any life, as long as it is breathing is considered sacred then it seems we’ve crossed a line between what is beneficial and what is obsessive.

Is it life when a person is faced with nothing but doctors appointments and blood tests, day in and day out, sick to their stomach, pumping themselves full of pills to counteract the disadvantages to chemotherapy? Is it life when a young girl is left infertile and faced with decades of other biological consequences from the poison they are forcing her to take now?  Is it life when a soul is trapped inside a body that has no function and is completely dependent on others for its care?

I contend that there is a big difference between simply living in the most base sense of word as we are redefining it, which seems to be merely breathing, and in being effective, being able to appreciate each breath, and being able to control our own destinies.

If we allow our definition of life to include increasingly poor quality in the interest of longevity, then we lose respect for what it means to really live and what it means to be alive and living. Our time is too short as it is, do we want to water down its meaning as well?

My thoughts are with Cassandra and her family.  May they navigate this difficult time with grace and may they have strength to LIVE according their own terms.

Peace kids, and make it a good day to be alive.

Frankie


The Meaning Of …. An After Life

“The spirituality of certain death requires acceptance that our stake in the future springs, not from an afterlife, but from whatever ideas and creativity we can muster and then pass on – through our family, friends and work.  The greatest joy is to challenge ourselves to contribute.”    Sean Faircloth

There is nothing like impending death against the stark relief of life to drive us to search for meaning to both.

In a few days I’ll make a short flight to Boise Idaho where I will spend a week with my terminally ill brother.  Probably the last few moments of his short time on earth.  He’s only 55. He is the first of six siblings to make this journey.  My heart is broken.

As I prepare to tell him goodbye, I am like all humans, transfixed upon the finality of death and the force with which it makes us contemplate our beliefs, our sentiments, and our maturity towards life and its ending.  As I try to come to terms with the idea that my time left with my brother is brief, I also find myself subconsciously bringing balance to his approaching death by reflecting upon his life. Doing so has allowed me to acknowledge that my brother will live on well past his physical presence on this earth.  As Mr. Faircloth muses …”our stake in the future springs…from whatever ideas and creativity we can muster and then pass on through our family, friends and work.”  My brother’s afterlife, his personal stake in the future, lies in all that he has done as a man with his short time on earth.

My brother’s stake in the future lies within the hearts of two sisters, both of them quite a bit younger, whose older brother managed to take time out to teach them football and the art of spitting between one’s teeth.  The same brother would later invite me to Genesis and even later give me a much-needed survival talk before I moved to California.  His Robin Williams-esque humor has given us many wonderful laughs and will always be the topic of family conversations.  These two sisters, and the rest of his siblings, will keep their brother alive in their hearts, his future is secure in their memories.

His stake in the future lies within the potential of my second son, who became my brother’s namesake.  No matter where he goes, what he does, and how he does it, my son will carry on my brother’s name and affect his own circle of lives.  I am always reminding my son of the man he is named after and the example he provides and the responsibility he has to carry on the name in good standing.   My brother’s stake in the future is secure in the form of my son.

My brother’s stake in the future lies also in the three children who have had him as a step-father.  I know his love and adoration for them is unmatched – and unsolicited – which makes it even more significant.  I am certain that each of those persons have learned what it means to be a father, a husband, a gentleman, a provider, and a friend …all from my brother.  His stake in the future is secure in the lives of the children who’ve been lucky enough to have him as a dad.

His stake in the future lies in the life of his wife as well.   For several years now, my siblings and I have watched as he has cared for his wife through her own health struggles.  His devotion and love, not unnoticed from a distance, stand as a testament to all of us and reinforce that our wedding vows really do mean ‘in sickness and in health.’  He could have scattered to the four winds long ago and left the care of his wife to others, but that’s not his style.  His style was in being there for every appointment and conversation.  His style meant clean sheets for his wife when she got home from a major surgery.  My brother’s stake in the future lives on in his sweet wife whose current health is a direct result of his diligent care from yesterdays.

His stake in the future lies also in his work.   During this rough time, his boss and cohorts have extended support and advocacy towards my brother and his wife in only the way that us compassionate humans can, and WOW, they’ve gone way beyond anything that could ever be asked of them.   Why?  Because of the way he’s lived his life and contributed himself to everything around him, even in his job.   His stake in the future is secure even in the lives he has touched even in the workplace.  We should all be so fortunate.

In the past, we have relied on the idea of an afterlife as a means to bring peace and a way to cope with the finality of death.   But our afterlife does not exist in some far off, mysterious place.  Our afterlife exists here on earth, in the thousands of ways, positive or negative, that we contribute to life and those around us.  It exists in the lessons we pass to others, in the love we share with others, in the memories we create with others.  I can say with all conviction that my brother’s stake in the future is well guaranteed here on earth.  There is where I find my comfort and peace, and death’s sting is made much less painful because of it.

Be Well, and LIVE your life!

Frankie


a new year….

i am not one for resolutions, but new years does somehow offer the promise of a fresh start –  or at least a reminder to get back on track after the holiday melee.

the one thing i choose  to return my focus  to, as always, is to keep balanced:   in mind, body, and soul.

it is a difficult thing to achieve in our current civilization.  seems that the more sophisticated we’ve gotten, the more conscious we need to be to keep our lives balanced.  here’s what i mean:

the recent election here in the u.s. caused a frenzy of passion and emotions in which i myself participated.  it was difficult not to, there was so much at stake.   i wrote, i researched, i made videos and posted them to youtube as a way to channel my energy and passion.

while i was happy with the outcome i found myself depressed almost immediately afterwards. still we are in a political deadlock and still because of human greed.

but as the new year settles in i realize i need to focus once more on keeping a balance.  i don’t apologize for being passionate about our nation and its future. i do realize though, that it’s not healthy to focus on just one part of life.

in effort to stay focused on writing this year, i plan to write a short story a week to publish on my  tumbler account frankiewallace.tumblr.   my intention is twofold:  keep my imagination working since the book i am writing is very factual based, thus bringing balance to my writing by forcing my creativity somewhat. and it forces me to be consistent.

here’s to  a new year.  here’s to balance.  here’s to a healthy life!