Just after Christmas, a forty-eight-year-old friend and colleague died.
In the past week, another dear friend and fellow actor in Los Angeles, recently turned fifty, entered home hospice care after bravely battling colon cancer for several years.
Alarms all around me sound that life is so precious.
Last night my wife and I fought. When I’m angry, I function at the cognitive level of a below-average eleven-year-old. I said things I needed to apologize for. I woke up this morning sore and sad.
Then I remembered what Father José told us in our pre-marital counseling, recounting his own marriage mistakes–don’t waste one second of your precious life together staying angry.
I said I was sorry. I didn’t want to waste our precious time.
I look at our two boys. After miscarriages, invasive treatments, procedures, more shots than you can count, and two failed IVF cycles, we finally came to the very spiritual place of, “F*#% it, let’s drink.”
That’s when we found out we were pregnant with our first–whom we were sure would be our only. I look at both of them every day and quietly ask them, “Are you real?”
Life is precious. We are blessed, gifted, entrusted with being here in this moment, now, today. We’re blessed to be breathing. We’re blessed to be in reasonably good health.
Reading this on an electronic device connected to the interwebs means there are miracles in our lives that hold us up and allow us to worry about things like our art. Miracles like clean running water, roofs, beds, friends.
These weeks shocked and shook me. I just turned forty-two, and I am not guaranteed tomorrow.
I’m going to cultivate and share what God put me on this earth to nurture and give away.
And I ask you the same thing. What burns in your heart? What are you jealous that others get to do? What one thing have you been putting off until the stars align and you feel like you’re ready?
Write that down.
Now write down one thing you can do today to start moving one step in that direction. Something real small–a phone call, a Google search, a text message.
In the musical I’m writing, the protagonist sings in Act 2, “Life’s filled with weakness-filled power.” We’re so vulnerable and so resilient. Like the voice. And like the voice, we can allow the breath through and create something beautiful.
Go to it, y’all. Someone is looking at you and needs you to show them what to do with “(their) one wild and precious life.”