|Utah Lake, December 2014|
I started reading The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coehlo, a novel about a man searching for his path on the road to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, on the way to my cousin Peter's memorial service early this fall. I set it aside after that, then finished it on my way home from my Uncle Chuck's memorial service a couple of weeks ago.
For many years, I believe I was searching for ways to disconnect. I found caring can be too painful. Living on autopilot seemed like a good way to numb the pain. The problem with skimming the surface, though, is that it sucked the soul out of everything. And life stretched endlessly on before me.
So I started searching for ways to connect. To be real. To dive beneath the surface. To care. It's hard, but living on autopilot was worse.
I drove out to Utah Lake a few days ago. It had recently been unusually calm, a good destination to make a pilgrimage to reflect.
Bright and early this morning, I'm going to have my very first surgery. I'm getting my gallbladder removed. It's totally routine, but not for me. I have every confidence that it will all go smoothly, but, you know, things can happen.
So I want to put here that I've had more success lately figuring out my path.
And though I'm sure I'm going to come through my morphine haze just fine, I thought I'd make a few requests. I have a feeling they'll still be valid when I die a nutty old woman.
Take some of my ashes to a place I loved. Take some of my ashes to a place I've never been but would have loved if I had. And at my memorial service, please sing "For the Beauty of the Earth," joyfully, like it's meant to be sung.