Wednesday, September 22, 2010
A bit macabre.
So I kinda have this thing for old cemeteries.
I've loved to visit them since I was a kid, which is a bit surprising even to myself, first-rate fraidy-cat that I am. I love the history. I love the peaceful quiet. But most of all, I love the stories.
To get to read someone's name, age, and epitaph feels like such an privilege.
I, I, get to stop and consider the life and story of another human being. Perhaps even one who lived 200 years before me. Someone who laughed and cried and loved and worried. Someone who's family laid them to rest at the very same spot I now stand. I ache to know who they really were, what their legacy was, and so I try to do them the honor of at least attempting to figure them out. I study the words, who wrote them, the relationships, and the level of elaborate decoration (or lack thereof), and try to piece together a picture in my mind: How did they live their lives? With passion, or with regret? What were their dreams? Who did they love? And who loved them in return?
I guess I love it because that's exactly what I want people to do for me someday. I want people to visit my grave long after I'm gone, perhaps centuries later, and I want them to wonder about me - to remember me.
Strangely, one of my worst fears is to be forgotten - to pass out of this life and into the arms of God without having made a lasting mark on the world. And so that is my goal: to leave a mark. To leave a legacy. To love passionately. To live fiercely. To seize every opportunity. To live and love with no regrets.
As a writer, I feel like my final epitaph is really one of the most important things I'll ever write, so I'm trying very hard (even now) to come up with the absolute perfect thing. But how do you conjure up a handful of words that completely defines you as a person and the nature and meaning of your life in its entirety?
So I'm still working on it. I only know that I want the words I leave behind to live on, to bring hope, and to inspire. And maybe even to make people laugh...
Because life is just too much of a riot to take too seriously all the time - even after death ;)