It is good to have friends who are poets. This is what I told my friend, Eric, after I read a recent email he sent me. Eric is 46 and has had his share of adversity in the last decade, including open heart surgery when he was 39. We have often talked about the importance of staying present and how truly short life is. I asked Eric what his thoughts were about this, especially for those of us who have not had life-threatening illnesses that tend to naturally create the urgency of the moment. So here is guest blogger Eric Bellscheidt on life and being in the moment:
You said it about this gossamer life, and every day I realize that more and more. But I tend to think it makes the days more precious. I truly do appreciate them more than I did as a young adult, even more than I did a few years ago. And we’re even talking post-heart illness. I don’t think the appreciation is simply a product of maturity or personal experience, but a realization and assessment of what is valuable in life, about what is important and precious, and maybe somewhat of a letting go and acceptance of the mortal beings we are.
I think one of the best ways to realize that every day is a gift is through our connections to life, whether they be interpersonal connections, or a communion with nature, or even a higher being. What you connect with. But it’s not what we believe in so much, but the fact that we simply believe. It’s a dedication. It is the connections that sustain and help us appreciate who we are and what we have. They hold us to this earth, gossamer strands that bind us in this life, to what we love, before we float away . . .
I also adhere to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks philosophy of life: Agent D.B. Cooper said every day you have to give yourself a gift, even if it’s simply a cup of good, black coffee.
My extrapolation of this is to acknowledge the gift. Then eventually you realize that it is not the only gift of the day. A hug, a smile, a sunset. Then it dawns on you that there are more gifts coming to you throughout the day, you just have to be open to them. And finally you understand that once the string of gifts is strong enough it becomes the tapestry of your life.
Your skein of days.
Eric Bellscheidt is a poet at heart and an editor with Microsoft by day. He is the husband of my oldest friend, Karen, and the father of two daughters. I am proud to call him my friend.