Thursday, March 19, 2009

Carpe Diem or else



You're taking a ski lesson, you're on the bunny slope, you fall. No different than anyone learning to ski, right? You get up from the fall, you seem fine, but nevertheless the ski people insist on taking you back to your hotel. But then you start feeling funny. Within twenty four hours, you're dead.

Was that bad luck for Natasha Richardson? Fate? Was it "her time?" I'm not sure why but I feel so sad to hear this news.

I remember the day when an old friend in San Francisco, hardly moving at all on his bike, and wearing a helmet, fell gently onto the ground. His partner was with him. When my friend fell, his partner began immediately to make fun of his clumsiness. There wasn't a scratch on my friend's body; it was a gentle fall. But one of his cervical vertebrae cracked because his head tucked at the moment of impact which caused his neck hit the ground at just the wrong angle. He didn't die, but his arms were paralyzed in the accident. Just like that, he lost the use of his arms forever. IF he had fallen at a slightly different angle, IF he had decided not to go biking that day, IF IF IF IF IF.

There are so many intersections of time/space that involve timing, luck, fate, and most of all, mystery. Natasha coincided with one of these intersections on Tuesday. Her time/space interaction was not so fortunate as the happy confluences in which people fall in love all of a sudden. There are tragic intersections, too. There are. Who knows how many of us avoid these dark confluences every day because we answer one more email before leaving work, or decide not to have a second drink, drive home by a different route than usual, or sleep in - or not!

All I know for sure is, life is short. You're here today but you could be gone tomorrow, no matter how careful, how mindful, how present you are. Don't count on your bike helmet to save you. It won't! On the other hand, hiding indoors, not taking chances, hoping to stay "safe" doesn't work either. Get out there and live fully, people. Do not waste one more second. I'll try not to either. OK? Okay!

38 comments:

willow said...

So very true! I'm gonna love my lovely intangibles today!

Tragic about Natasha Richardson. I thought she did such a good job in The White Countess. So talented.

GOR-geous tree shot!!

Lisa said...

it was her time but so sad none the less xx

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks Willow. That's Lincoln Park, a half-block from where I live. The first picture is taken right in front of my house.

Reya Mellicker said...

WAS taken. Got my time/space thing a little mixed up today.

tut-tut said...

No, you never know. I've been trying to be more grateful lately. Hey, nice new photo of you!

Miranda said...

You're so right, wise lady. So right!

The Family Julz said...

On my way to live it up now. Thank you for further inspiration, as always!

I love your new self-portrait.

karen said...

amen to that. I am right at this moment booking us some air tickets to the UK, just in that very spirit.. a close relative's sudden death in a car accident this week has shaken us up, and we are in carpe diem mode.

Larry said...

Carpe diem for sure! None of us know how many days we have left.

I talked yesterday with a 20-year-old woman who has liver cancer. She looked bad and had to leave her job as a convenience store clerk and go home. Another woman finished her shift for her.

This woman shouldn't have to be out working at all! My son, who lives in Germany, is appalled at the state of American health care.

Corrupt AIG execs get millions in bonuses, after running their company into the ground, while this young woman is scrabbling for a living during her final days!

Carolyn said...

Reya, a great post! I just rewatched "Dead Poets Society" last night with the same theme. Live life, we never know and you are right, it is way too short.
Your photos are beautiful and thanks for stopping by.
Smiles

Butternut Squash said...

The cherry blossom is a classic Japanese symbol of the fleeting beauty which is life. It is the perfect image for your post today. Wishing you all a glorious adventure.

willow said...

Hey, I'm back to tell you how much I like your new profile piccie! Really nice, Reya!

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks Willow!

Auntie, aka cagny said...

Love your pics, as always.
And yes, it's true: Here today, gone tomorrow.
I feel terrible for her family.

analogman said...

If your dog (or any creature other than a human) could answer you when you asked him "what time is it", what would he say? Now, now, now! There is only now so live, live, live. Another great post!

Tessa said...

Okay! Seize the day, you say? I do - with both hands.

I agree with your other readers about you new profile picture - it's lovely. As are all your photographs - I love the angles you take them from, so unique....so you, really!

Lover of Life said...

It is amazing really. I have been contemplating this for a while now.

A little girl goes on vacation with her family and an airplane crashes into their vacation home on the Oregon coast. She was the only one killed.

When our time comes - it comes. No getting out of it.

But you are right. We have to live and feel free to take risks and chances. The alternative is not really living.

Steve said...

You're so right, Reya. I thought the same thing when I heard about Natasha -- it's amazing how fragile we all are, and how fragile life is, and how oblivious we are to that fact on a daily basis.

Janelle said...

so true! still. am packing my riding helmet just in case i decide to use it this week-end...BEAUTIFUL BRIGHT spring pics reya! keep doing your rain magic please! lots lots love always xxx j

Joanne said...

Oh those intersections, and how every decision, every moment, lays one upon the other differently.

Ronda Laveen said...

Although I like to drive fast, very fast when possible, I try not to curse the slow wheeling driver in front of me or get too cheezed off by getting caught by the red light. They are there for a reason. Who am I to change the plan? I said I try, not always successfully.

runmotman said...

such a serious discussion on a lovely day...Spring is knocking on the door now! Lovely trees. Everyone out there stay safe!

Bee said...

Every year the trees seem to flower so suddenly. One minute they are tight buds, the next minute they are blown -- and we can't see the moment of change.

Richardson's death has been a reminder of how ephemeral life can be . . . there really is no other choice but to seize the day.

Coffee Messiah said...

Makes ya wonder why so many enjoy making life miserable 4 others ; (

The park looks fantastic ; )

Cheers 2 U!

Elizabeth said...

Wise and thoughtful comments.
Yes, we should be grateful for what we do have - we need to remind ourselves constantly.

Delwyn said...

My dog got up yesterday morning full of joi de vivre - went outside for an early morning sniff and a pee and ran in front of the garbage truck...

Life can end so quickly.

SJW said...

So right Reya.
Life is only in this moment.
Love the new pic.

Chimera said...

Reya, your photos!! The one a few posts ago of the redbuds washed away from the tree is astounding.
And I never ever imagined you as a bartender! It is of course the job of the Exceedingly Wise Person (Whoopi Goldberg) in Star Trek i suposse which is more your style!
The tragedy of Natasha is that her husband and kids will have to face their grief out in public. I hope they cope.
Have a wonderful weekend and keep taking those wonderful photos!
Tanvi x

JOY said...

Exact sentiments for me too. I've felt such sorrow for her, her family, life's short turns, plus that wake-up call to live, live, live in the moment.

I'm so amazed at the blooming cherry trees now, there. It's hard to believe since here in Michigan there is no color, still in a holding pattern. we are further north, that. I want to jump in the car and drive to D.C. just to see the delicate unfolding buds. Thanks for the pix. It helps a lot! Such beauty!

Merle Sneed said...

Well said!

duty free said...

Be right here. Right now.

This very moment.

One of those elusive truths.

Barbara Martin said...

Reya, I think it was her 'time'.

Those that work upstairs tend to work quickly. Sometimes lingering occurs when there seems to be hesitation on the part of the person involved.

For those who are left with impairments after an accident are going through a new life cycle which is part of their soul growth.

Though, Reya, you are correct in that we should live our lives fully. From the reading and meditations I have done there are times in every person's life where they are allowed to opt out and return to the celestial area. Every person has a couple of exit times pre-scheduled. For example, I had a very bad truck roll-over accident on a four-lane highway in Alberta. When I received my in colour 'life review' I felt I wasn't ready to leave yet and asked if I could remain as I had things I needed to do. I was aware, if only briefly, that my request had been approved. I woke up in the truck right side up and suffered only a minor concussion. There was a second time which I have commented about before on an earlier post of yours, Reya, where I was told to stay, that it wasn't my time to go.

I'm certain Natasha had an option and she decided to leave. There is no trauma to the person when these celestial occurrences happen. It is in a completely peaceful and loving state, where everything feels calm and wonderful with no pain or fear.

Reya, the feelings you have of this situation may stem from being a spiritual friend to Natasha from previous lives. Also, for you to consider is that I am quite certain every person knows at the few minutes or hours before their death or ascension, or the possibility of it occurring.

When I had the truck accident I had a strong feeling not to go to the area I had planned to be at. At the time I was wondering why I was getting these thoughts, especially when another strong thought came that I shouldn't take my dog with me if I decided to go anyway. So, I went without the dog and lucky for the dog I hadn't taken her. It was like a pre-arranged trip that was a test because of choice. I ignored the warning and chose to go, and then asked to stay, another choice.

Perhaps this was a coincidence or not, but the evening before I had seen the Warren Beatty movie "Heaven Can Wait".

mouse (aka kimy) said...

i am heartsick about natasha- her poor boys, I feel so bad for them

you are completely correct, there is no time to waste one sec!!

hugs.....xxxx petite souris

is there so much flowering action going on in your hood - sweet! we are on our way....but who is to say....

Mrsupole said...

One should live every minute to the fullest because it may be your last. I always say I love you as the last thing I say to those I love because you never know if that is the last thing you say to them. I have heard that this is the one regret people have, is that they did not say 'I love you' the last time they talked to them. So I always say that to those I love.

We are just like a grain of sand, together we make a beautiful shore, alone we are nothing. Love those around you. Love is all that lasts.

God bless.

PS...I too feel so sorry that her family will have to do this in the public eye, so I can only pray for them. I pray they have privacy and peace.

Cynthia said...

Beautiful tree shots and yes, we must wake up to the fact that we should live and appreciate now!! Right now. Thanks for the post!

Adrianne said...

Natasha Richardson was filming the Handmaid's Tale at Duke my freshman year, but I never ran into her. Nonetheless, I have always felt a connection with her, and I am so sorry for her family and mourn her loss along with them. She was smart, incredibly talented, and so beautiful, yet not at all full of herself. We need more people in the world like that, not fewer. I will miss her.

Also, one of the things I love most about my new job is that it forces me to emrace a minute-by-minute, seize the moment mindset, and that is a decidedly good thing, for all the reasons you so eloquently mention.

Thank you for this post.

Reya Mellicker said...

Adrianne, you are welcome!

I loved The Handmaid's Tale - the book and the film. I think Natasha was a great actress. I feel sad for her whole family.

California Girl said...

Thank you for the cherry blossoms and perspective. The older I get the luckier I feel.