Writing that last entry brought musings on mortality and new inevitabilities to ponder... and every indication that I'm still processing Lottie's death ... .
Yesterday I found myself jotting the first requests in my calendar for public appearances for next year; for January and March. I'm certainly aware of commencement ceremonies at California College of the Arts the week of May 14th; and that my term with the National Park Service is due to end in July of 2011, unless extended. It will all pass so quickly -- with little sense of control -- unless care is taken now to gain some sense of order over what time is remaining. (That's time as in a years, decades, and nearly a century of a lifetime.)
Which brings me to the need to begin to plan -- and I'd love to include visits to other park sites in that planning. There is so much still that I'd love to experience before too much more precious time has passed. In the course of my work I can still do that, I believe, even in my role in the NPS, maybe as an extension of that work.
With my sister's death a few weeks ago, I'm reminded that I was so grateful -- even in grief -- that she didn't have a long period of lingering half alive and suffering in unmitigated agony. Though I have no idea how long she knew that the end was near or what fears she endured; the family had little warning before she slipped into eternity.
I remember in 1987 while lying at the foot of my father's hospital bed as we shared his last hours (at the age of 93) -- during a blinding flash of insight -- that it may be just an illusion that medical science has extended human life. To me it seems more likely that what has been extended is death. His death process claimed the last ten years of his previously productive life. My proud father spent his final decade blind and bedridden and totally dependent upon those around him.
Since I have another birthday in 3 weeks (yes!). After 70 they come every 6 weeks. Time is becoming more of a constant presence in my life. I'm considering giving it a name, and issuing it a serial number! How that which remains is spent is critically important if only to me; not to be squandered.
... and .. after due consideration (of at least the last ten minutes) ... I see little reason to not proceed on the trajectory that has brought me thus far into the 21st Century!
How's that for a simple declaration of intentions?