“You can only lose what you cling to.” ~ Buddha
In Latin, the word “Carnival” means “Farewell to the Flesh.” It is within this form of thought that we find the earliest pre-fast celebration. It is on this day, Fat Tuesday, that we celebrate, remember and look forward to a time of fasting, a time of Lent. We look for things that we must relinquish, let go of and move on from. It is on this position that I find myself here, in this sphere, remembering and giving thanks.
I remember the first post I wrote on this blog. It was three years ago yesterday. My first post was about a river; not just any river, but the river that flowed behind my house in New York. I recall at the time it was frozen over, but it was still beautiful as I walked along its bank, thick with ice and snow. It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years since that day. Since that time I’ve walked along a few more rivers, and through many spheres, exploring and pondering, contemplating and understanding. Today I find myself within a new sphere, one that begs my intuition to listen.
Life is interesting, containing a great assortment of colorful spheres, miracles and wonder. Life is also about change, containing choice, and accepting change. As most human beings seem resilient to change, I’ve found that it is within embracing these changes where we find the most growth.
Change occurs as and where it must, whether these changes are inviting or not matters little. It is how we accept and move forward that makes the difference.
During the past three years I’ve moved and changed more than I’d originally realized until today. It wasn’t so long ago that I found myself in a tiny hamlet in upstate New York, a place where I never thought I’d live. But it was how things happened. I found myself there without hesitation and without anywhere else to go at the time. It was there that I found my voice, reached into myself and understood why I was there. For me, it was my time for solitude, to become intimate with myself, to find my muse and to take a step back, look at life and contemplate my own path. Truth be told, if it wasn’t for New York, these words may never be written.
It was barely a year later that I found myself moving again, this time back home to the deep south; a place that I will always call home. It was there that I again found myself in the midst of change, having to make a decision once again. I then moved to the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain, commuting back and forth to New Orleans where I stayed for another year and a half. It was a good time, a time for work, growth and play. But as all things change, nearly a year ago they changed once more.
Last spring, I then found myself here where I sit now, here at over a mile above sea level in Colorado. Here I’ve learned valuable lessons, lessons about time and change. I’ve learned that a time for a return is necessary, a time for a new change and a new solitude. No matter how I came here, it is a time for letting go and returning to my roots.
We all know when we hear our inner voice, though sometimes it is ignored. Then we all feel the winds of change. These winds call to us to hear not only their trumpet, but to listen to our own voice as well; the inner voice that we often ignore. Sometimes this voice shouts at us from within when we fail to listen. Sometimes it is loud, and other times it is relentless. This voice begs us to stop, look and listen. It begs us to heed the call, a call to something greater than ourselves.
No matter all of my moving, my changing, my attempts at understanding life and the path I choose, I’m called back to one absolute that I hold true. If not for the sake of love and family, my path would not exist. Despite all of the changes, the decisions or dreams, goals and aspirations, we are only here a short while. It is the time we take to make our voices heard that truly matters. It is the choices we make that do not include ourselves that speak to the ages. These are the actions of those we remember.
In this sphere of life and constant change, I choose to be remembered. If not for my written words or art, but for the actions I’ve taken, decisions I’ve made and for the life that I’ve lived. We can’t all have our busts chiseled into the annals of history, be great in the eyes of the world or have our name etched into stone walls, but our memories live on in those who we inspire, love and help. These are great things.
The past three years have taught me well. I’ve grown, learned and lived. But I’m not finished. Not by far. So, on this day of celebration, whether or not Mardi Gras is on your agenda, thank you all for joining me, reading, commenting and listening for the past few years. This has been my sphere, my sphere of life that I walk through graciously and humbly, and I’m happy to be a part of such wonderful and inspiring company.
We should all remember our own carnival, our own farewell to the flesh. It is in understanding this time of change, celebration and letting go that we become our true selves.
Namaste, Godspeed and Happy Mardi Gras.