I Did Not Blink

Mortality stared me in the face this morning and I did not blink. Strange feeling that, to acknowledge your fragility and then to move pass the moment with just the barest of pauses. Life goes on today, for most, for me, but not for some. It was an old lover that died last night, opening the door to Mortality’s gaze. Then this morning the door was flung wider still by the suicide of a family member.

The old lover and I had not been close for more years than I am willing to acknowledge out loud, but we did keep tab on each other’s life through the ubiquitous social media thing. So the “RIP” posts caught me up short, causing me to sit back in my chair with a pang of sadness and unease. He was younger than I. The family member was an in-law, more like a friendly face at family gathers than any real emotional connection, but still people I love loved him, making his death matter. He was just five years older than I.

Bracketed, and thus identified as a potential. Sobering. But I did not blink, I put on my boots, picked up my staff and out the door I went, just another morning’s walk; two miles out, two miles back. Yet, I now know the closeness of my own Mortality, felt its eye pass over me. I did not blink, but know now with a new certainty that each breath is a blessing and every wave to my neighbors as I walk a statement that until the last breath I am here and I will not blink.

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