Sunday, November 2, 2014

Betty White

I read yesterday that Betty White is 92 years old. It seems her personal recipe for longevity and joy as a human has gone something like this:

  • Keep working.
  • Stretch in the morning.
  • Go to bed at midnight and rise before the sun.
  • Eat hot dogs and drink vodka.
  • Swear like a sailor and laugh a lot.
  • Stay connected with the people you love.

I think this is all really good advice. As vices go, I would switch the hot dogs and vodka for something more like Pepsi and plant medicine. I would also add something about walking, creating art, and volunteering, but Betty is onto something for sure. She strikes a balance between kind and crazy which places her right at home in my heart. It also strikes me that the article I read about her doesn't emphasize her faith in any sort of higher power, but rather the joy she takes in her personal life.

I really admire Betty White. Of course, I also really admire Robin Williams. Like Betty, Robin infused popular art with humor. He seemed gregarious and insightful. The characters he portrayed often contained a hint of darkness within which they explored their own light. Nonetheless, Robin himself took his own life this year.

While I do not claim any established religious or spiritual practice, I do believe that people, as both individuals and a species, are part of a much larger natural cycle, which is both poorly understood and deserving of awe. From my perspective, death in any form is cause for neither condemnation nor dismay. It is simply one gateway to another state of being which already persists concurrently with our human lives. Nonetheless, there is honor in experiencing humanity.

I look forward to my 90s.  I want to dance in the moonlight and wander unassisted to a field where I can laugh beneath the stars.

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