A Leaky Water Pail

978As the old year segues into a new one and the 2013 clock (in this case) ticks down to 00:00:00, it’s not unusual to weigh all the important events that have taken place in the year that has passed. For goal-oriented people, this means evaluating the benchmarks that were set, what was actually accomplished, what still needs to be followed up and other metrics that give order to life. (I think this is a good habit to practice.)

Thinking about such annual evaluations, I like what Psalm 90:12 says:  “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” 

Even though life expectancy continues to increase and centenarians are more common than ever, the sense of numbering our days about which the Psalmist speaks has to do with how relatively short our lives are. In the overall span of Time, our days are brief. Seeking to have a “heart of wisdom” is a purposeful goal that requires intentionality.

The sonnet below does not primarily refer to ushering in a New Year; it’s more an acknowledgement of the passing of Time in general. As a mother, wife, grandmother, and all-around participant in life, the metaphor of a bucket seemed appropriate to describe my experiences. In my day by day evaluations, sometimes I think I’ve accomplished a great deal; other times, I feel like I have little to show for all my striving.

Day-To-Day, daily living, time passes, Time, endings, goodbyes, sonnet, poetry, poem
Sonnet: Day To Day

Viewing 2014 (and every subsequent year) from the starting gate tomorrow, I don’t want to reach my last day and be left thirsting for more. So, I adapt to looking at life one day at a time, yet always cognizant that each day is a loan. In that sense, if I can accrue a “heart of wisdom” for my labors, I will consider it an exceptional reward.

Dignity / Humanity

grim_reaper.600Death isn’t a subject most people are eager to discuss, but death by one’s own hand fits the template of today’s “pro-choice” culture. Several states have adopted measures whereby terminally-ill individuals have the “right” to lawfully end their lives. One website says “death with dignity” offers “options for the dying to control their own end-of-life care.

I’ve asked myself whether “dying with dignity” is even possible. If one means to control the way one dies or the setting in which it happens or seeks to promote the conceit that embracing death somehow makes it more palatable, these nuanced “dignity” claims are laughable!

We first need a definition of dignity. In my view, indignity is easier to define, but I’m not persuaded it’s the inverse of dignity. Attempting to avoid or bypass life’s indignities (by self-administering a lethal dose of drugs) suggests cowardice, inconsistent with dignity.

Death is indignity! It is the ultimate and final insult humanity delivers, a constant reminder of life’s temporality. No fountain of youth provides an antidote. Whatever our age or station, none of us is immune. Continue reading “Dignity / Humanity”