If you have seen my newest poetry chapbook, you know I deal with depression. Depression is not something I would wish on anyone, but it has given me a unique perspective on mortality.
I have no fear of death. I’m not physically reckless because I don’t want to be injured. I’m not financially reckless either, because I like having a home and a car. In fact, my spouse tells me I am not reckless enough. He encourages me to do more, spend more, enjoy more. But we both know there is a limit – a line where enjoying life crosses over into recklessness.
No – I take life very seriously. The same way most people look at games like Monopoly or poker, I look at each day as a turn. Today is my turn in my game: Will I let it pass without doing anything? That would be silly, right? A waste of potential.
Instead of letting my turn pass me by, I take it. I create something, earn some money, spend some money, take some time to myself, take some time to think about others. I do something for today and something for tomorrow. Each move has to be carefully planned, sure, but it’s also just a game.
I do all of this intentionally, to combat my natural state of stillness. It is so difficult to move, to rise from bed and play the game. But I refuse to stop. When I do, I want the story of my life to be beautiful and complete, like the flower.
I don’t think death is frightening. It’s just the end of this game and the beginning of a new one. Or maybe just the end of all my turns, forever. After this game, I may disappear entirely – who knows? I am curious and looking forward to finding out.
I nearly died in a waterpark. My suit was caught at the bottom of the ladder in the wave pool and no one helped me. I went through all the stages of grief while I was under the water. And when I breathed air again, I never lost that bit of calm that comes from accepting your own finality.
So yes, I think death is beautiful. It is a life, completed. A book, written and read. A movie, credits rolling.
I don’t know why I’m telling you this. I honestly just meant to post this picture because I like it. But here we are. I suppose I wanted to share with you why I like it.
Because a flower is a story. The flowers in this picture are each stories of love. My spouse gave me each one. He was out in the world, going about his day, and thought of me. But that is not the story of the flower. The story of the flower is one about strength and sun, food and reproduction, beauty and balance. The end of the follower’s story – the part where it dies – is a beautiful part of my story.
And now, it’s a part of yours.
Do you have any dried flowers? What do they mean to you? What makes them beautiful to you?