I was watching a TV show recently, and something was said that stuck with me. One of the characters was searching for a word that was so big and complicated, and yet so sad. When they finally found it, the word turned out to be alive. “Alive isn’t sad,” someone else said. “It is when it’s over.” That struck me then, but I didn’t know why until recently, when I came upon the idea that what is sad about living, is not living fully.
Alive is such a broad word… it’s a category that a rock, a watch and a coma patient all fit under if you go by the dictionary definition, but it also means so much more: It means being present, taking risks, being curious and adventurous, facing your fears, looking inward and knowing yourself. Alive is growing and changing, connecting, ebbing and flowing, and finding yourself in everything else.
After you have left this world, all traces of your passing will one day fade. Even the greatest of us will eventually be forgotten. That’s sad to me. All we can leave behind is a slowly-fading footprint.
But that’s not strictly true, because nothing ever really dies, it just changes… transforms, gets re-incorporated, evolves. What we leave behind is what we change… not like a monument, but more like a child, in that it is no longer ours, it is its’ own. Our mere presence transforms the Universe. And that’s the point really, is presence. That’s what I think being alive truly is, being present. Showing up. Committing ALL of you fully, to this moment, even the you that you haven’t become yet.