Saturday, June 2nd, 2018
I don’t know about faith, at least in the classical sense. I’m more like an alchemist when it comes to faith. My faith is derived from connecting disparate dots. The dots are real, it’s the lines I draw between them where a sense of faith is required.
I do know about showing up, mostly. This is not evident in my tardiness to write back to you. My brain seems to be wired in such a way as to make showing up consistently an enormous effort. I am curious to the same extent moths love the light. That is to say…sometimes, many times, to my detriment.
Or maybe that’s how I show up, carrying a bucket full of curiosity.
I explored this curiosity and its effect on my life in my TEDxTalk. Which made my visit back to that same TEDx this year interesting. Ned and I went to TEDxVitoria-Gasteiz, back in April, to give a workshop about something more personal than my obsessive curiosity. We shared what we learned from my death.
Of course, living to tell about your death is a strange place to start a conversation, much less a workshop. Doing so with 50+ people listening, well that borders on the bizarre. I think this is how a cult starts: A person has a unique experience, they share it, it resonates deeply with a few people, and the connection is exploited for some nefarious purpose through sex or labour to feed one thing: the cult leader’s ego.
TEDx feels like the inverse of a cult. This is why I felt ok about holding a workshop on my death. I knew people would ask questions, not simply nod and follow. If I did my job right, they’d leave the workshop asking all kinds of questions. Nothing nefarious happening.
I think we did a good job. We showed up and did the work.
We reconnected with old friends from the first time around and made some new ones. I connected some dots in my head — drawing lines that built my confidence. I’d lost my mojo since the whole dying thing happened. It’s a strange thing to gaze upon, seeing life as it is. On the one hand, you’d think my confidence would be soaring — I lived! But, on the other hand, I almost didn’t.
I guess this is the big question that determines our lives. Do we relish the fact that we are alive or do we fear our certain death? The bard summed it up best; to be or not to be.
I know I want to be, but I’m still in kind of a fog. Like an artist with a blank canvas and so many colours to choose. Which one shall be the first? But, that’s one question that matters less than most. While curiosity, for me, is often about asking questions, its always been more about my impetus to wander. I probably need to put my questions to the side for now — and simply show up and do work. Who knows where it will lead me?