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Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Dusty disappeared into the long brown reeds. I saw her go in, but then there was no sign of her. No telltale swaying of the foliage. No startled pheasants or fleeing mice. Nothing. She seemed to have vanished.
I had lunch today with an old friend, who was tragically widowed about ten years ago, too young. She was left to run a big estate and has had a trying time, a lonely time. She mentioned that she was in the midst of trying to reduce some of her clutter. It seems to be the project of just about everyone I know. De-clutter. Get rid of ‘stuff’.
But it’s easier said than done. She had stumbled into a deep vein of old photos, which stalled her resolve. She’d uncovered a treasure trove of old videos – ones her husband had helped make, had helped deliver as courses. Bin them?
It’s a little like erasing his memory.
We’ve been facing up to that one recently. Trying to de-clutter, to divest ourselves of so much stuff. But then, when the person you love has died, it feels disloyal to throw out things which maybe they valued, or which you remember them using or liking or creating.
Made me think. Perhaps our society's infatuation with fame is really a chasing after immortality. At least if you’ve had your 15 minutes in the public eye, there may be a record kept forever of that, and people will remember you for something. Otherwise, when you die, your friends, your children, maybe your grandchildren or great-grandchildren if you’re blessed that way, will remember you for awhile. For a few more years. And then their memories will begin to blur and fade, and when they move on, nobody will remember you.
It’s a thought. Do I mind? I think, if I thought that this life is all there is, I might mind. If I thought that once I shuffle off this mortal coil, I will become nothing but dust and ashes, I would want to leave something to prove that at least once, I made a difference – for the better – in someone’s life. I loved someone and was loved in return. I helped someone without expecting anything back. I did something good.
But then, I don’t think this life is all there is. I do have faith in the God who loves us. I do believe there is more to life than what we see on this earth right now.
Like Dusty, those who’ve passed away have moved out of sight and I can’t perceive even the slightest rustle.
But I know they’re there. And that makes all the difference.
Maybe I’ll tackle that de-cluttering again. Tomorrow.