A Week to Live
My name is John. I’m a 43-year old man in Dayton, OH, trying as best as I can to live and love and grow and awake up and stay awake.
And I appreciate the way that the title to this blog (A Week to Live) can be read in two ways. It can be read as a statement of what might possibly and perhaps unknowingly be the case for any of us—what if you or I had only 7 days (168 hours) left to live? How would we live differently? What choices would we make differently? (“When one has nothing to lose, one becomes courageous. We are timid only when there is something we can still cling to. Since we are only in this world for a short while, every act must count.” – Carlos Castaneda)
I also like how it can be read as an offer or a challenge—begin looking at life like this and really thinking in this way, give yourself over completely and without reservation to this point of view for the next 7 days of your life, really allowing your heart and mind to be trapped by the full heft and weight of this immense 800-pound boulder-like burden for the next 168 hours (a la Aron Ralston in “127 hours“), and by the end of those 7 days, see what happens for you, see if something has not changed in you: see if you are not more willing to live and love with a bit more clarity, precision, urgency, courage, conviction, determination, and passion!
If this blog inspires you or seems helpful to you, please pass it on—please pass the address of this site forward to friends and those you think might benefit from its message. And also please write to me and share what is happening for you because of changes you have been inspired to make or to consider because of what you have encountered here. I would welcome that!
So who’s with me? . . . Who’s up for really trying to live and love and approach life as if the time truly is short, as if there’s no time any more to waste or lose, as if there really is only a week left for each of us to live?
Because someday that will be the case. It’s not a question of if, but when. It will happen. Someday—perhaps still unbeknownst to us at even that time—we will each reach the point where we have only one week to live. We will have reached the final 168 hours of our life. So why not start living more now like we’ll surely wish we would’ve then and begin practicing for that occasion now while there’s still time, and in doing so begin living a life now where we are more truly alive and awake, present and courageous?
The decision to do so may make all the difference between an ordinary, banal, sleepy life, or an extraordinary, adventurous, more truly loving and courageous life.
So who’s with me?
“For the Anniversary of My Death” – W. S. Merwin
Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Like the beam of a lightless star
Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what