My fifth grade teacher, Ms. Hannegan, was an artist in her spare time, and a very good one. She believed strongly in the importance of nurturing creativity, and so gave every one of her kids a sketchbook at the beginning of the year. I filled mine--which took two years, because I don't draw often--with scribbles and thoughts. One of the pages is written in barely legible black pen, and the contents made me stop and think.
The page talks about death. I was a morbid kid--there's not a lot of cheerful drawings in this book--but in less of a gothic way than a curious way. I start off talking about the summer heat, and then make this observation that sounds very much like something I would write today: "One week, one month, one lifetime, it doesn't matter. Bodies are always decomposing, dying, drying shells to be shucked off like a hermit crab's home after our soul outgrows it."
And then I go on to talk about inevitability and writer's cramps.
Maybe I'm still morbid; I realized after reading this that I've been thinking about life and death lately, still in the pensive instead of depressing way. I have a couple quotes that I hold on to, and one of them is "This, too, shall pass." I have no idea who, if anyone, I picked it up from, but it's true. Absolutely everything passes, and eventually, it won't matter what we did or who we were. This could be a depressing train of thought, but the flipside is that we won't last forever, so we can and should do whatever we can now to make this instant worth living. Ten or twenty years from now, it won't matter that I sat at my desk at 2:20 in the afternoon instead of doing my laundry, or that my mom's working extra hard so she can go skydiving this afternoon.
What matters is what's happening right now--the fact that I freaking love whoever just came on pandora, the fact that buster's running around in circles in the living room, the fact that my mom is going to jump out of a plane this evening and love it. It's all relative to the now. It's not possible to make something of yourself that will last forever--the Great Wall of China is pretty damn impressive, and even it will fall eventually. What matters is deciding what matters to you right now, and what will matter to you in this short and brilliant time you have. We should live for ourselves and the people around us, not some oppressive obligation to "forever" that we have to fulfill.
I don't know if this was anything near coherent, but it's a thought. :] That's all.