Weep for yourself, my man
You'll never be what is in your heart
Weep little lion man
You're not as brave as you were at the start
Rate yourself and rake yourself
Take all the courage you have left
And waste it on fixing all the problems that you made in your own head
Mumford & Sons, Little Lion Man
* * *
We are fools to waste one minute of our lives in fear, in anger, in the dolor of love turned to mucilage, of love distorted into manipulation and the misery of longing for the past, or for what we only dreamed of doing but could never quite riddle out the tumblers to unlock that door.
And yet, and yet this is what passes for life.
It is a question of courage, a question of faith, a question of your willingness to let go of those things, those dear, dear things, that weigh you down, hold you back, still your voice.
Engulf your life with life. What are you waiting for? Perfection? It doesn't exist. Has it all worked out so well taking half steps, of giving yourself self-imposed limits on your imagination, your life, that you would risk none of it for life on the bone?
Maybe you don't need to rage or scream. Maybe you need to laugh and run. Maybe you need to sit still, but whatever it is don't live an awful half-life, of your true self hidden behind the masks others tell you to wear. It strikes clear through me, a cold and brilliant light, that so much of what I've seen, so much of what I've done, so much of what I dream is the ruin of abdication, of life fucked by fear, of boldness being another false god, of surfaces hiding shallows, of something having always been missing in the equation.
I saw it in my father. I saw it in my mother. I see it in those close to me. I see it in the mirror. I see it in you.
* * *
We don't have the time we think we do. It is the great illusion of the living to be unable to image their death - the surity of it, its non-negotiable nature. I grew up in funeral homes. My father was an embalmer and death was our dinner conversation. Not its metaphysics, but its plainness, its economic underpinning to our lives. I thought I had mastered the fear of death quite young, but it stormed through me in my thirties and shattered my ability to think without thinking of death. I am closing in on fifty and death is no longer a fearful thing.
The frightening thing is not dying.
The frightening thing is not living.
Death is the necessary closed parenthesis on our time, and our time is to be spent learning how to use this gift of life, how to use it fully. But just the way science tells us we only use 10% of our brain's capacity, so, too, do we barely plumb the depths, barely imagine the breadth of what is possible simply by being alive.
We hide in fear and hurt those we'd love because we misunderstand what our lives are for.
You were made to meet your maker. You were made to find your name. You were made to live before you died.
Now go and fuck it up no more.