Live Like It’s Your Last Breath

Photo by George Hodan
It’s a beautiful spring day. The rain has passed, the skies are blue and the grass green, and the birds are singing. As we appreciate the beautiful surroundings, preparing for our spring holidays, it’s easy to forget the truths in the world. We are lulled into a false nicety, a fairytale land, and hope for goodness. ‘The world would be a beautiful place if we all loved each other’.

Art by Frits Ahlefeldt

But if we take a good look behind the greenery, and peer into the dense brush, what we’ll see is the savage nature, the rule of survival of the fittest. Humankind is part of that brutal nature.

Despite the cheery veneer, the world is in turmoil even on the most pleasant days. While we work and play in suburbia, people are killed in Syria and other places ruled by tyrants. Those who survive atrocities will have their guard up, even though they are caring individuals who wanted freedom, they are changed. They became tuned into their basic instincts for survival.

Even the darkest of hearts can love.

Now some will say, “that’s a grim outlook on life” and I will respond to you that my outlook is based on reality. It’s the truth, and for every good moment, there is another equally brutal one.

Today Catholics all over the world celebrate Good Friday, the day Jesus was nailed to the cross. Some of the men who betrayed him had once been his followers. Fear for their lives allowed them to falter in their love. We are human, that’s what we do, get defensive when we are scared and unsure of the things going on around us.

So friends, while many authors write about the trials we face, often with the hero overcoming the odds, that’s exactly what they are unrealistic probabilities. A fanciful wish that isn’t in sync with reality. That may be why we have relied on stories like Aesop fables and the Grimm nursery rhymes, to show the brutal realities of life to our children. They have been useful to balance out the happily ever after.

I write darker scenes, subtle evil based in reality, but show how good people do bad things and sometimes, there is no happily ever after like we’ve been groomed to expect. There is always something else waiting for us to respond to, just around the corner.

Only if you see life as the good and bad, the gentle and the brutal evil, can we really say to ourselves, “I see and know the truth.”

Christians are celebrating Holy Week, others are celebrating Passover, all these traditional religious holidays are wrapped around both sides, the good and evil of the world. The holy texts tell us of the root of evil, our own instincts to survive, and ask that we rise above, but many cannot pass above the survival instinct. Evil exists, and no matter how often we try to spread our love philosophies, it is present and destined to remain because it’s baked into our DNA.

My message is to stay aware, don’t fool yourself, and enjoy the happiness you have in your life with vigor because it could all be gone in a second. <snap fingers>

Photo by Petr Kratochvil

Live like it’s your last breath because it could be.

Keep reading – Keep writing!

Paying tribute to some who have already left us in 2017

Photo by George Hodan
RIP J Geils (rock musician) RIP Charlie Murphy (Chappelle show comedian)  RIP Chuck Berry (RollOver Beethoven) RIP Mary Tyler Moore (actress and comedian) RIP Bill Paxton (Aliens, Twister, Titanic, Apollo 13)   RIP Sir John Hurt (elephant man) RIP Miguel Ferrer (Twin Peaks and Crossing Jordan) RIP Paul O’Neill (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) #RIP Don Rickles (comedian)  RIP Lonnie (Chicago blues)  RIP Gilbert Baker(civil rights activist – rainbow flag)  RIP Noreen Fraser (TV producer and activist against cancer)  RIP Carl Clark (WWII metal of honor veteran) RIP Sib Hashian (Drummer -Boston)  RIP Martin McGuinness (Irish Republic Army commander) #RIP Colin Dexter (author of Detective Morse novels)  RIP James Cotton (blues musician) RIP Fiora Corradetti Contino (female conductor of opera) RIP Tommy LiPuma (jazz producer – Natalie Cole and George Benson) RIP Jack Harris (produced 1950’s The Blob) RIP Mike Connors (Manix) RIP William Peter Blatty ( author of The Exorcist) RIP Gene Cernan (walked on moon) RIP Geoff Nicholas (Black Sabbath) RIP John Wetton ( Asia and King Crimson) RIP Al Jarreau (singer)  RIP Warren Frost (Twin Peaks as Doc Hayward and Seinfeld) RIP Yevgeny Yevtushenko (author, poet of Babi Yar)

 

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