A couple of years ago, a friend of mine decided to stop waiting for a transplant, and to spend her remaining days peacefully saying good bye. At the time, I wanted to post about her decision, but I didn't have the language. All the words we have are laden with judgement. She "gave up", or "lost the fight".
A little while ago, I was watching a divorced friend, bubbling over with new life (as is her former spouse) and I found myself thinking that it's the same with marriage. Marriages "fail". Except, not all good marriages end in death. Some great marriages run their course and reach a conclusion while both parties are still alive.
Things that are "timeless" are good. Things that are temporary are... less so.
I keep thinking of that time when we were standing staring at the old growth forest, and I was thinking about the miracle of trees that last hundred of years. They end, sure, like all living things... but they put it off a REALLY long time, which means they "win" over short lived stuff like... me.
Except, the trees didn't end. Looking at the forest floor, I realized it was made of their fallen bodies. Moss and flowers grew out of them, and even new trees--some reaching as high as buildings. I'm told that this dead-but-not-dead creature is called a "nurse log". And there are few things as alive as a nurse log--a whole world rises out of it, feeding off of all the sunlight and nutrients and rain that the tree gathered over hundreds of years.
Maybe we have trouble saying "it's time for the end of that" because it's a lie. A marriage that ends doesn't cease to exist--it turns into something that is not a marriage any more. People don't finish. They turn into something that is not a person--memories and stardust, and lives changed by their fingerprints. Businesses don't fail--they turn into learning and the prologue of the next story.
I am so used to measuring whether I built a good thing by whether or not it is stable and lasting.
I am new to this idea of measuring whether I built a good thing by what kind of nurse log it is.