The ancient Stoics believed that to live one’s life to the fullest, to truly appreciate those you love and your own life, contemplating death was necessary.
’Tis the season I YouTube how to wrap a Christmas present. It’s not that I’m bad at wrapping a gift without it looking like it was done by the hand of Freddy Krueger. It’s that, actually, that’s exactly it. With that in mind, here’s a list of things I dislike strongly yet would still rather do than wrap a gift.
In your mind, walk into the kitchen or wherever it may be in your past, and open the junk drawer from your childhood home. Ignore the usual stuff scattered around. An ink pen here, some loose change there, maybe a rubber band, clothespin, or a hair clip. Open the drawer a little further. What’s the one item that sticks out, that you always picked up when you were seven or eight years old and fumbled around in your hands, turning over for a better view? For me, it’s…
I open the door of the car which swings open freely, and set my feet on the ground, run for the tree line. There is a path in here somewhere, the hayfield, I know it. There isn’t. I will have to create my own path. This is where the adventure starts. Where the snakes hide in wait. Where the flowers form at the root and the weeds do all they can to strangle the beauty. The road is not paved before me. It never was. This is where the children of my past run freely. Where the thorns snag at shirts and acorns fly through the air like bullets piercing into skin.
The portly woman had her own path to be exact, worn white into the grass that led to her car. After this curiosity, I reached into my coat pocket and retrieved a folded copy of “The Last Leaf,” by O. Henry that I had printed prior to my departure from Charlottesville earlier in the day. “Don’t laugh at me,” I said to my then-girlfriend. “I’m going to read you a short story.”