An Honest Act A Day Makes Death Okay

It doesn’t make any sense to worry about death (especially our own) – once we die we’ll lose our human capacity to worry. Knowing something in linear logic and knowing something in your bones don’t match up often enough, though. I sometimes get concerned about the ending of this experience – the only thing I’ve ever been and the only thing I’ll ever be.

When I get worried I like to be able to say, “Well at least I did that one honest thing today,” and I feel better about it. What’s the honest thing? Any form of pure expression. It’s a thing that you can look at (or look forward to) for the day and say you did it.

Ideally we’d always be in the state of, “I’m living in this unfathomably interesting universe and I’m grateful to be here for the time (that illusion!) I’ve had so far and by golly death isn’t the worst thing that could happen to a person.” That’s the case for exactly one person I know and I’m pretty positive he’s lying about it.

So instead make the minimum of one honest thing. I wrote a completely honest letter to a friend in prison today. I’m going to eat dinner with my grandpa tonight. I hope I ask him something important.

The idea isn’t to have the feeling, “Well, I’ve done it. I’ve finished everything I felt like doing in life, I’ll just die now.” When a person gets the feeling of, “I’m done here,” they deteriorate.

The idea is to feel like today you’ve done one thing that, if you died, your favorite person in the world could find and remember you by. It doesn’t mean it should be “good”. The only measure is that it’s honest at the most basic level of You.

Some things it could be:

  • poem
  • letter
  • a compliment to an employee
  • an honest smile
  • a blog post
  • a hug or kiss or sex
  • a run that pushed you harder than anything before
  • painting
  • advice
  • it doesn’t matter

One thing every day. One thing you can, for the rest of the day, remember and look at the darkness with a little more courage. Maybe two tomorrow. Maybe all day by next year.

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