The Kingfish celebratory weekend is behind us; the rich memories have remained within us, like silvery strands of a spider’s silken web; and given us inspiration to live on as well as food for thought.
We strive to keep ourselves connected to those sparkly threads as we go on with our regular lives here in Trinidad. With our third week of school under our belts, we are beginning to fall into a routine of sorts.
Like the fifth graders who are practicing their foreshortening skills, we are in it, both feet planted in front of us, with our hands not far behind. We try to do it as gracefully as possible, and not panic when things don’t go exactly as we planned. One of the deepest learnings we have acquired in jumping outside of our familiar sphere has been to see the richness of life with a new perspective. To remember the choices we have, as we surf along the silky threads. To panic or to shift. To judge or to wonder. To criticize or to notice. To get exasperated or to become curious or look the other way. So many choices we have as we tiptoe along the fine line, like tightrope walkers. And sometimes we do need to jump off the silken cord, and make our own path. Instead of doing this in a panic, I strive to notice and design the details of my sole(s) as I descend into the progressive chapters of my life.
Because when it comes right down to it, we will all die someday. And when we do, we can only hope we do so not saying, “If only I had done ….. ” Or at least our list of regrets will be short. I was lucky to stumble upon the work of an amazing artist named Candy Chang. Following the death of a very important person in her life, she decided to transform an old dilapidated building in her New Orleans neighborhood into a huge chalkboard, inviting people to complete the sentence “Before I die I want to…..This soon turned into an international project, with chalkboards all around the world.
People have so many dreams to be realized. Some big, some small.
You can see her on TED talks.
Before my sister Connie died, I thanked her for all that she was, for the connection we shared, and for how much she inspired me and shaped who I am.
Time is finite, ideas are infinite. I made the vow then and there to follow through more. Here I am, living out three of these infinite ideas: teaching abroad, writing, and seeing in person that bananas actually grow upside down.
Some of the follow-through begins with the little choices we make.
We have choices every day. When the rain comes again, we can choose to say “Oh, crap, not again.” (anonymous) or “Where is my umbrella? I need to take a dip in the rain.” (Nicole)
I can choose to follow the little yellow butterfly who entices me along a winding path that leads to a large regal pomerac tree.
or I can find a way to them. I wouldn’t want to say some day, “if only I had climbed up and picked those pomeracs.”
given into sleep after a long week of school.
If only I had
interpreted the rules less literally.
If only I had not
So let’s dive in
It is finite, after all.
And, if you have made it through this somewhat rambling blog entry, I invite you to make a comment and fill in the blank: Before I die, I’d like to………………” Saying it out loud might just make it come true. You can make it anonymous if that gives you more courage.