As I'm reading the book "Savage Mountain" about climbing K2 and other treacherous mountains the author describes being trapped in a crevasse. It's at this moment, when death is eminent, that she realizes that this is NOT the way she wants to die.
And all I could think was, shit I would.
Now this question of how I want to die is fairly new. But it suddenly puts into perspective the question that has daunted me for years. How do I want to live?
Because if I don't think of my death as growing old or the "Golden Years" then why am I forcing myself to stay within the lines. Afraid to take certain chances for fear of death, broken bones, loss of fingers/toes or nose, drained savings, fractured family and disappearing friends.
But I realize now that those fears were and are just bits of fluff--smoke and mirrors--to keep myself from trying. I’ve been afraid to try because I'm so afraid to fail.
I want to climb Devil's Tower and Mt. Kilimanjaro, jump off buildings and eat whatever strange food falls on to my plate. I want to whitewater raft the Nile and downhill ski Whistler and the Alps. And travel everywhere, learn everything and write novels about it all. I want to love. And I want a damn boat.
Okay that sounds stronger than I may feel today but each day it builds to push a little harder out of the box that I’ve carefully drawn around myself to protect what may be needed for a potentially long future. And it still could be long no matter how times I jump from planes, trains or moving automobiles. I do not know.
What I do know is that if I don’t start living life with the zest that I so feel deep in soul, I will regret it for the rest of my potentially long life. And in those “Golden Years” I will feel sorrow for not trying when I had the chance.
So, when I think of my death, I think YES, let me fall off Everest or suffocate in an avalanche. Let me drown while whitewater rafting or get in a skiing accident. I wouldn't mind being shot or stabbed. Anything is welcome that forces me to feel death. Because if this is my only death, I want to know it's happening.
Because no matter how much we ignore or hide from death, it is inevitable. So I'm going to embrace it.
And hope that my life insurance policy holder doesn't read my blog.