“How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.” ~Niels Bohr
I write these words from my veranda overlooking a verdant valley at the base of the Sierra Madres mountains. It is sunny and warm and the town below me rings with the sounds of life: roosters crow, dogs bark, music plays, and people call out to one another in passing.
And I am thinking about the nature of paradox, something not unfamiliar to me.
Because, while the town below me resonates with life, the bedroom above throbs with impending death.
My dear friend is dying. Cancer. She’s in constant pain. It sucks.
But it is what it is, as she says, and she is choosing to go out as she lived, with courage and grace and determination.
I have three weeks with her, revelling in the memories of our friendship, trying to keep at bay thoughts of a future without her. And though she is consigned to her bed now, eating little, her mind is still clear and sharp.
Death is a part of life, we all know that, but preparing for it—intentionally and compassionately—is a challenge most of us don’t consider until health concerns or sudden accidents require us to do so.
And that’s as much as I was able to write before my 2-year old MacBook Air decided to stop working 5 days into my stay.
In case you might not be aware, there are not a lot of ways to get Apple service in Boca de Tomatlan, Mexico. Especially when one doesn’t speak Spanish.
Seems I was to be unplugged from anywhere except that dusty little fishing village and my friend upstairs.
My apologies for no Monday Morning Messages the past two weeks.
Except…no. I’m not really sorry. I had abundant time to think, reflect and undergo complete electronic withdrawal. It was a blessing, and we would all benefit from unplugging for a couple of weeks at a time. Scary thought, I know, but it’s amazing how the sun still comes up in the morning and sets at night and life goes on.
For reasons left to be expressed in what will be my next book, Needles of Gold, it was a profound experience for which I am beyond grateful.
That said, upon returning to Toronto Friday at midnight, I showed up at the Apple store in Eaton Center first thing Saturday morning. And left 6 hours later with a new laptop.
I write these words on a silent Sunday morning, watching the snow fall outside my window. It’s frigid cold, but beautiful.
And a world away from sunny, barefooted way of life I left less than 48 hours ago.
I suspect that living in the center of it—finding one’s balance within it—just may be the secret of peace.
“In contradiction and paradox, you can find truth.” ~Denis Villeneuve