The Amniotic Fluid of Life: A Moment With Bill Reflection
Welcome to Life
The life-giving amniotic fluid flows around us….warm, inviting, and comforting. The muffled sounds of a heartbeat can be heard, and although its significance is not understood, it remains the anchor to which this new vessel is moored.
The senses slowly develop, increasing in scope daily as the moment of freedom approaches, and the tiny appendages strain to break free from the nine-month solitary confinement. Always there is a sense of safety, of being connected with another “being,” and surely freedom is needed and yet the first sense of fear invades as the unknown is about to become real and suddenly overwhelming.
From safety to the great unanswerable in one giant push. We come into this world kickin’ and a screamin’, stretching those limbs, bellowing to the world and demanding to be heard, recognized and dealt with.
And dealt with we are.
Oh the wonder of it all. Every single day….every single day…is a day of discovery and joyfulness. New stimulations, new aggravations, new celebrations and new situations, all there, a feast for the famished and an ongoing learning center for one eager….no, desperate….to learn.
We stumble and bumble and grumble our way through life, exhilarated by the mysteries and challenges and yet tethered to the life line of parental love. We are shaped and molded, conforming to the gentle guidance of our mother and father, all the while testing the limits, stretching that life line to find its tensile strength.
We know it all, baby, and if we don’t know it we’ll be damned if we will mention that fact to our parental units, who are strangling us with supervision and rules and mundane chores meant to choke the life out of us and extinguish forever our creativity and freedom.
The exhilaration has diminished, replaced in part by fear, hesitation and doubt, and the mysteries of life no longer appear appealing but rather foreboding and threatening. There have been enough defeats by now so that challenges are to be weighed and debated rather than faced head-on without reservation.
Freedom, sweet freedom! The long sought-after adulthood has arrived and yes it is liberating and exciting, but it is also a bit scary, for freedom carries with it a price to be paid, and if not paid now it will surely increase over the years as interest begets interest and the Piper will always collect his due.
Play hard, work hard, live for today on the off-chance there is no tomorrow, but still hold onto those dreams, for life has yet to squash them into so much pulp and meaningless tripe….in fact, the view of tomorrow is still bright and hopeful. Twenty-five years with so much still to do.
Obligations and responsibilities are starting to tarnish the sparkle just a bit. We find that unlimited possibilities diminish with time, and the first mention of shoulda, coulda and woulda have entered our vocabulary.
Still there is hope; if only this and if only that, and the smooth, unobstructed pavement of the future indeed has potholes and deep drop-offs if we are not careful….and careful seems to be the catch-word of the day as our breakneck rush into the future has become a plodding advancement on borrowed time.
Mundane replaces wonder and isn’t that a shame, and shame rhymes with game and the game is survival my friends, and when exactly did the dream die, only to be replaced with a clouded memory of long ago aspirations and inspirations?
We work, we eat, we sleep and then do it all over again, 24/7/365, one endless march into sameness, weighed down by too much of this and too little of that. Perhaps now would be a good time for some artificial stimulation to replace the magic that life once held for us.
Ten more years and freedom will once again be ours, and won’t that be a wonderful thing….or will it? Carelessness has been replaced by carefulness, as if each of us has our own personal governor on our internal engines, preventing us from ever reaching warp speed, resigning us to the plodding pace of a Clydesdale working the fields.
Colors are muted and our senses, long ago desensitized by lack of use, fail to see, touch, hear, taste and speak of magic. Just ten more years and it will all be worth it, all of the compromises and deals with the inner demons….just ten more years.
And the once energetic body has found limitations it never dreamed existed, and the mind is slowly losing sharpness and focus, and the slide that began so many years ago is picking up steam and the Piper is now demanding payment for all of those second-chances.
Now, instead of eat, work and sleep, it is only eat and sleep. We seem to be tired constantly as we find that excesses demand their day in court, and the verdict is in and it is not favorable. The retirement fund has come up short, and short is our stride as we shuffle off to the great crap shoot where each day is a bonus and maybe a blessing.
The average life expectancy and here we are, the culmination of seven decades since that little rascal burst forth into this world, and what a trip it has been, or what a life it hasn’t been, depending on how you lived it and how you wasted it.
There is no denying the effects of the aging process at this point; no putting off till tomorrow which must be done today. Take the daily pills and try to stretch that quarter-mile walk; stay in touch with a diminishing circle of friends and think back to what was, what could have been and what will be.
The Piper is now at the doorstep, and an extended pay period is not granted. We have finally reached the point where there are no second chances, no do-overs, no Mulligans. We look back over the landscape of our lives and what do we see?
Where did it go? The youth, the energy, the unbridled confidence…where did it go? How is it possible that that little tyke of five is now at this point? And what about this point? Is there another life waiting for us behind door number one, or do we find only nothingness when the door opens and we gaze at our ending
Are you squeezing life for all it's worth?
A chat about life
Where Are You on the Countdown?
We get to choose you know. We get to control our lives along this timeline, and we get to decide whether we will have a governor on our accelerator or if we will live life with the pedal to the metal.
We get to choose whether we are just living to exist or living to maximize every experience. We can embrace the mundane or we can kick it to the curb and seek thrills, chills and the occasional spills. We can settle for less or demand more. We can snuggle close to conformity or spit at it as we forge a new life on the outer reaches.
We get to choose.
I don’t know about you, but I plan on leaving this world kickin’ and a screamin’, just like I did when I entered it. I have a ton still left to do, and I’m going to be pissed when my final days are upon me. No quiet bedside vigil for this man; rather, I think I’ll go out with a blue streak of cuss words. And when I draw my last breath, I want my ashes to be released from a speeding car flying down the highway at 100 mph, lifted up by the winds and scattered on the seven seas, there to become, once again, a part of the amniotic fluid of life.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”