Glistening shards lie all around me. I must watch my step because in spite of their beauty – or perhaps because of it — they are deadly. I stand immobile, afraid to move my bare feet lest the shards slice my flesh and drain my blood. I admire them from a safe distance. These shards are my life.
My life is broken in pieces. I cannot fit them together. It is a stream of prickly shards, a never-ending stream of shards that flows around me like guppies. If I stop and try to hold my place upon the stream floor, they will gouge and gore me; if I flow with them, I can make a truce and at least continue on a while more.
We pursue lives of harmony, but for me the only harmony possible lies in embracing the shards around us, embracing what will certainly kill us in time.
We are told that life and death are two separate worlds, but life has no meaning without death. Life is precious only because it is so fragile, its beauty so remarkable only because it will not last. Life is sacred because death is all around us.
Death does not depress me, it only make me cherish life, all life, even more. I am a celebrant of life. I write down words, take photos, make songs, film videos all in my obsession to document this thing that is slipping from my grasp like a great river flowing through my fingers. I cannot stop it but I can try to capture reflections of it. This is my goal, to capture and to celebrate.
My friend Brian who made a clear choice for death six months ago traveled this same path. How I miss him. I don’t begrudge him his choice, but I feel my loss. It is another shard breaking through my skin.
Eventually, enough shards will accumulate in my flesh and it will be over. Just as the shards of his life finally pierced Brian’s heart, it is only a matter of time before life kills us all.
In the meantime, I will embrace the glistening shards that are both my life and a portent of my death. At this point, I can no longer tell the difference.