Monday, July 11, 2011


Life is so very interesting I am left to wonder just why life is?

Just at the time where most everything that could be, appears to be going awry. This is a first time in my memory of this life, where anything that can go wrong is going wrong. Where things mechanical have almost always worked reliably and without demand for attention are breaking or falling apart so quickly. Where every endeavor to make my life better by finishing up incomplete past chosen tasks are failing. Where anything I need to do such tasks (such as a laptop) ends up in financial loss and useless thwarted folly. Where my child falls and severely hurts herself in the confines of our own living room with no particular reason, suffering a concussion and could have been killed by a change of  mere inches of the blow to her head. These are but a few of the things over these recent months that are going on around me, I ask why? Then THIS begins to happen…………..I watch as someone close, I did not know how close, become ill.

Today I watched my most favorite individual example of how to live I’ve ever met, die. Today I watched as this exemplary inspiration of how to take in life, pass into death in the exact same way he lived life, expecting nothing better, asking for nothing more, wanting nothing other than what was happening at every moment being currently experienced.

He was a sort of person that inspired everyone that came in contact with him and without trying or without his own knowing. His gentleness and laid-back attitude was at times awe-inspiring. He took things in as they were dealt to him without any hesitation, without expectations of something better. Whether those around him watching considered it good or bad, to him it was all the wonder of living. His affection for those around him, regardless of who they were, was constant, given freely and relentless. Every sense was active and alive; with each breath he was experiencing all that was around him with zest and vigor. Wherever he was it was just fine with him, whomever he was with, that was all there was. To him nothing else existed but what was there now. Each morning was embraced with tremendous excitement, he couldn’t wait to see, experience and embrace what was waiting for him outside the safety of home. For him each day was something to take in, to behold, and to cherish. Never once did I get any hint of his wondering, “is that all there is?”, “isn’t there someone better to be with?”, “something better to be doing?”, something else to have or experience?”. The most admirable trait that I so wish I had was that of being satisfied and content with exactly “what is” at any given moment. Not once contemplating what “could be” or “should be”, not being distracted from the experience of the moment by any desire of something else. Life as it was being lived was his best and most vivid dream! There was nothing better, nothing worse. Oh what joy to be like that, what pleasures and exciting times it must have produced. Without the need of approval or affection, he could give it freely and without reservation. Without contemplating what was good or bad everything was “just fine” as it is and as it was. There was no moment other than “this one”, the moment he experienced now. For him, there was no better place than “this one” the place he is in now.

Thought I only knew him for 4 brief months, his example has cut deeply into my psyche. Every loss that I have ever experienced has touched this same place that he touched in our daily interaction. Thanks to him, I am gracefully left confronting this deep place, the place I avoid for the pain that exists there. This place I have created for myself to sulk, cry and justify my failures. This place built by my own expectations of a world I wish were like the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

By example alone and without intending; He has given me a perspective of living that I had partially and sometimes completely forgotten. I had lost sight of the continuous desire for and thus, how enjoy life! By my continuously wanting, continuously running to the next place, continuously searching and seeking something better than what and where I am I lost that which is true value. This has completely clouded my view of what is of the utmost importance! I have become such the effect of my environment that I had little causality left with to see, with which to perceive and embrace. I had little left in me to experience with, as it was all wrapped up in “what could be” nothing was left for “what is”. I had become a “consumer” and the acquisition of “things” were being owned as a substitute for what life was offering. All I could see was “things”. I was so caught up in “acquiring” that I had forgotten what I really needed, ironically while coercing myself into thinking I’m having it all.

Being here without expectations, without desires, without conditions, without assurances or permanence is all there is. Life offers experiences without guarantees. This individual showed me that to expect more than just being here is setting myself up for folly. He showed me by example that it is by looking to “better the moment” that I was creating my own building blocks of hell. He has taught me that by having a “choice” and making choices, I must accept what I have chosen. As a result, the good outcomes of those choices and the wrong ones as well, are of my own by choosing. Nothing and no one else is presenting outcomes without my active participation. If I am to seek out my choices by inspired desire, frequently the opposite, which I detest, or which is repugnant will also be brought into existence, brought into my experiences of  “the moment”. What happens then is, I must avoid “the moment”, run from it to another, run somewhere and some time that is “better”. I then must make another choice! I must “be” somewhere else, I must do something different, and I must have something other. Making choices then becomes a vicious circle of unwanted moments, each one forcing yet another choice be made, never having the pleasure of “the moment” at hand. He taught me that my own judgments and resulting choices are the source of all forces which now appear as both for and against me in “the moment” I’m experiencing. Yes this was the greatest loss of all, the loss of myself and the unrecognized substitution of “me” for “things”, “other times, places and events” than the moment I am currently in. It is the very loss of the greatest gift of life, the gift of present time perception, or just undivided attention directed toward present time.

Such were the inspirations through his daily living that he unwittingly gave me that I now contemplate and hopefully learn. I am left with tears in my eyes and continually wondering why was it that he had to go? Why was such a wonderful example of how to live life gone while so many less giving, less trusting, less worthy, still live? May the way you lived continue to endear me with the way you saw life, the way you embraced without question every moment with precious excitement. Yes I am still judgmental but now I know it and can work on changing. I have renewed and growing but currently little hope for many others in doing so without the benefit of such an example as he continually presented. May everyone be blessed with such an example for living. To be taught without being aware of it. 

The identity of this spiritual being may still be a great surprise to you! See the blog posting entitled "Monster II" for his epitaph. 

Tom Pedersen  ©  28 April 2004

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