Our cycle of life is off. It mirrors our pursuit of knowledge. And things. It starts out slow, thin, but very present; aware, visceral, emotional, tactile, hopeful, curious, open. Full of joy, of wonder, of imagination. Then, we accumulate experience and knowledge. We collect things. We become culminations, and our limbs are collections. We become complicated. We become too big to move easily. We become comfortable and stuck in our assumptions. We feel safe and sure in our conclusions. We compare our thickness to the thinness of youth and feel secure. We know we know so much more. We’ve experienced so much more. We have become the standard. And we guard that standard as if our lives depend on it.
18: legally, we’re “adults.” We are responsible for everything we do, everything we think. We are accountable for our actions, our thoughts, our behavior. It is up to us to fix ourselves. Up to us to find the help for the damage that’s been done to us, by power. Up to us to recognize it, to see the connections to a wounded life; up to us to commit and engage and follow through on the repair process. Drowning in everything else “adult,” we reach back toward what we think we see in our younger selves, what we think we felt then, all the while having lost our connection to who we were when we started.
What if it changed? What if we started out the same, but we inclined toward returning there? Toward returning—nourished and full of experience and resources—to the place where new humans are starting, to the beginning again. What if the first half of our lives were like sand mandalas? What if when we got to the middle, we let go, blew the beauty of our lives to the wind, and turned to where we are needed? Where we are useful. Where we can offer what was never offered to us. Where we can find the beginning again. Where we can feel that joy, that wonder. Where we can join in imagination. Where we can honor and celebrate and help bring to life the dreams and hopes of being young. Again.
What if we lived there at the end?