"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Live, and Be Alive

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Live, and Be Alive

On this anniversary of death brought to us by the very worst of fundamentalist religion, how about a celebration of life that has absolutely nothing to do with religion?

Do you have two legs at your command? Walk through forests and neighborhoods, leap and run for joy. Climb stairs with loads of laundry as some climb mountains with backpacks and dreams.

Arms and fingers that bend and move to your wishes? Feel what they touch, note the textures of the world around you. Caress and sense, support, sustain. Is this intricate mechanism of muscle and tendons, bone and joints best purposed for a clenched fist or an outstretched hand of friendship?

Do your eyes convey the light and vision of what's around you? Look, then, and see. Find the beauty in every scene and face. Know that billions of neurons are locked in complex arrays of interconnection to interpret what your eyes have chosen to look upon. Make it worthy.

Do you have an ear-perhaps two–to hear what life has to say? Listen to the voices soft and loud, to the rustle of the wind, to the music in all its forms. A quiet place reveals rustles and creaks of life's underside; all need not be loud and overbearing. Think of the delicate hairs inside your ear, swaying in time to their own sections of the received symphony of sound–some slowly to discern low hums and groaning strings, others quivering fast to bring you alarms and put sharp edges on the music. Your brain performs wonders of spectral analysis to perceive the ambiance of nature and expressions of art and love. Yet it will strain with equal diligence to bring rants of hate and ignorance into your mind, should you choose to hear them instead. So choose wisely.

Countless wonders are being enacted within to bring each day of life to you. The food that has finished giving your tastes its savory reward for bothering to eat is grinding into mash within your stomach in readiness for its true purpose, the molecular payload that enriches your blood. Hidden red rivers of it carry tiny cargo-loads of oxygen and nourishment to the farthest reaches of your toes and brain, returning darkened and ready for the next run, in an endless cycle. All the while, nerves blaze with impulses electrical, then chemical, then electrical again. The consciousness that you call yourself perceives only the tiniest fraction, the gurgles and pangs of hunger, the racing pulse of a new love or race run well. But it is there, all of it, just beneath the surface, for you.

You do not have a life; you are a life. The blueprint of your every cell carries the wisdom of eons. You are the final cut, the compilation of research done by untold painful experiments in life and death of long-departed faceless ancestors and many more others not so lucky as to be your ancestors.

You are a life finally able to contemplate itself. In that you are privileged beyond all other creatures, with a wisdom beyond measure. Live, then, and be alive.


  1. Thank you, Ed, I enjoyed this meditation very much. I am grateful to my parents for sharing with me their great love of nature, and grateful to many mentors for widening "nature" to include people, both friends and strangers. Being grateful for humans is not always easy, but always rewarding.

    This advice from Pema Chödrön seems apt:

    "The next time you go out in the world, you might try this practice: directing your attention to people—in their cars, on the sidewalk, talking on their cell phones—just wish for them all to be happy and well. Without knowing anything about them, they can become very real, by regarding each of them personally and rejoicing in the comforts and pleasures that come their way. Each of us has this soft spot: a capacity for love and tenderness. But if we don’t encourage it, we can get pretty stubborn about remaining sour."

  2. I like to pray each night that I would be the answer to someone's prayer on the following day. In other words I want to be, in some way, the person who is God's tool for bringing healing or help to another person in need as there are so many injustices that exist...I have seen them up close (think in terms of the good Samaritan versus the Pharisee). When one understands the total complexities and odds of one's birth, one should rejoice and thank God that they were allowed to even be born and in turn allow themselves to be an instrument of healing. In general most of God's work is that which is done with our own hands. Old AP