What the hell happened in 2017
A couple of weeks after I made my last post (September 2, 2017), my father suddenly passed away. It was a shocker for me and it took me awhile to regain my footing. The desire to interact online was pretty non-existent.
While I’m writing now to come to some end of the year conclusion, I can’t say that I’ve got any new insight to bring, except death is cold and isolating, and it serves as a reminder to the living that life is warm and miraculous. Until you mourn the loss of someone close to you, death is entirely conceptual. When it happens to you, you’re suddenly struck to the core, what it means to never experience someone’s presence again. And the idea of “presence” becomes very real, because until that moment, presence can seem indefinable, until a person’s presence is taken away.
Life gives us time to be present while we have it.
In 2017, I often found myself in an existential crisis pondering what the point of all of this is and wondrous miracles like my daughter being born and watching her grow by the day. Trump becoming our president has been a huge conundrum (to put it kindly) and while it awakened my political awareness, it severely pains me to watch his administration and I am constantly reminding myself not to numb out in response to this sinking feeling he induces in me.
Instead I am focusing on the moment before me: supporting the #metoo campaign, saying a prayer of thanks that Roy Moore was not re-elected, wondering why Al Franken is leaving the Senate while Trump is still in the oval office, eating as many carbs as possible, letting the baby hairs on my forehead grow back after child birth, perfecting the vanilla cupcake and wondering how to bring sexy back.
What will 2018 bring for you? I hope for more small miracles that I can attest to and a reminder that presence is valuable. Your full presence and mine are valuable. My father’s death made me think about the significance of one’s life and the iceberg meaning of that, not the topside, obvious above water portion, but the deep, under the water portion of it. The portion of the iceberg that gives birth and root to who we truly are at our core. The part that composes 2/3 of the iceberg.
May we come to enjoy the full meaning of our own value in every day moments, not just the high achievements, the red carpet moments, the fantasies we envision ourselves having in our mind. The ones between friends, with loved ones, the small unspoken understood agreements between colleagues about the meaning of safety and trust and with ourselves about how the passing of one day from dawn to dusk can be extraordinary if you just pay attention to what’s in front of you.
Good-bye 2017. Hello to the birth of 2018.