A friend pulled me up short the other day.
“This is it,” she said. “Stop planning your death.”
I hadn’t realized how much I talk about dying: where, when, how. All the details.
In some ways, I believed that planning would make it seem less stressful. But what has happened is that I focus so much on the end, I forget I am here now. This poem by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer says it all:
This is it, I think, as I lie in bed, not wanting to leave the warmth.
This is it, my feet meet the cold wood.
This is it, I water the orchid.
This is it, I boil water, make tea.
I think, I’ll be a better person tomorrow.
This is it, me dreaming of fresh starts.
This is it, defuzzing the sweater.
This is it, paying bills, answering mail, frying eggs, washing pans.
No life but this one.
No fresh start but here.
This is it, the cat sits on my papers.
This is it, the phone doesn’t ring.
This is it, the floors need mopping,
the letter needs written, the class needs planned.
This is it, me wishing I could be more perfect.
This is it, this. This only. Only this.
This is it, this flutter in my chest
when the sun enters the room,
the natural leaning toward the light.
This is it, this silence.
This cold. This warmth.
This longing. This song on my lips.