Enjoying life, off the hamster wheel
I was given a great and humbling honour, yesterday. I was entrusted to breathe life into Brian’s words to be read to all those gathered during the celebration of his Life. I hope I did his words, spirit and memory justice. I think he may have been pleased, as his son Andrew told me afterwards that a crow sat perched outside, looking in, as I read. Thank you, crow; thank you, Brian.
Later that afternoon, someone came up to me and asked me what it meant, what his story meant. What did the car, the husband phoning, the well appointed house, and the crows flying, following one after the other, all of them, each and every one of them, mean? I tried to explain, but I don’t think I was too successful. Then, last night when Neil and I came home, I stood looking at a little magnetic calendar my mom gave us for Christmas last year that’s attached to our fridge. It’s one of those day calendars where you tear away pages the size of Post-It notes. Each page has a quote from some Eastern philosopher or philosophy, and the ones that resonate the most with me I tack to the side of the fridge with tape. Our fridge is covered with these little pieces of paper, and as they’ve filled up the side, they’ve started finding space amid the postcards and fridge magnets on the front. I plan on putting them into a little book, eventually.
I usually fall behind on what should be a daily ritual of tearing off a page and reading the quote, and sometimes I have quite a few to tear off and catch up on. Yesterday was no different. I tore one off, then another, then another, reading each one carefully, thinking of their meaning. And then I came to this one. It’s date is Monday, November 12, the day before the celebration of Brian’s life. And this is what it reads:
“When you are free from all attachments, when you are indifferent to success and failure, then you experience inner serenity.” – The Bhagavad Gita
So what did Brian’s story mean? I think the quote above sums it up beautifully, and if there is a way of expressing what I knew to be the core objective of Brian’s life, this would be it. The Brian I knew strove to appreciate the simple, to be happy with what life had to offer, to achieve excellence of character, rather than perfection. And his beautiful story, I think, exemplified that.
Brian was a kindred spirit, a man I love and someone I will deeply miss. I am having a hard time accepting his passing, but know that I will in time. I am eternally grateful for his friendship and look forward to seeing him again, discussing all things possible over a cup of tea (and shot of Bushmills).
Thanks for reading this.