17 February 2009

Need some grounding?

Visit my high school English teacher's website: thewhichway.org. I don't email with him every day, but I'm starting to think that might not be such a bad idea. He says the goal of his site is to help him think through and prepare for death.

He's 72, which is young, if one hopes to live to 100, but he is also surrounded by peers who are similar in age and much more frail than he is. While he is hiking and biking and going backpacking with his son in Europe, many of his peers are developing shaky hands, losing their vision and hearing, and unable to walk long before getting winded. One of his friends has been sent by his wife to a distant nursing home. (Just thinking about that breaks my heart.)

Mr. K, as I still call him, reminds me to stay close to nature, reminds me when I'm writing to focus on the characters, reminds me of what matters. He inspires me by living a healthy life, a caring life, a love-filled life. He encourages me to embark on adventures and to be kind and patient with others. He pushes me to face reality and to let go. And he humbles me when my head gets a little too big.

Thanks, Mr. K. You're like the dad I always wished I had. So, stop preparing for death and just live forever, okay?

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