This has already been one of those years. One of those years where I make really big, important changes to my behavior, to my choices, to myself. I've learned a lot. I've lost a lot. I've gained a lot. I've made a few new friends, or rather spent more quality time with a select few and really made a conscious decision to get to know them better. Some of those friends, I realized, need to not be a part of my life any longer. It's the best for them, and it's the best for me. This has something to do with that whole, "never end the question, never question the end" that's been my bi-line for this blog recently. To digress for a moment, I should credit the author of those lines: Peter from Chicago, who sadly passed away a few years ago. I spent a weekend in Chicago for the Summer Solstice Festival at the contemporary museum of art there in the Summer of 2000. My friend Jeff introduced me to Peter, who revealed some personal knowledge to me during one of those days. He shared "The Rules" with me. These were a set of rules for living that he and a few of his friends concocted. I can't remember all of "The Rules" although, I remember writing them down on the back of one of my notebooks for school, which is somewhere in my basement, but I can't find it. So, anyhow, these are the ones I can remember (and they might not be word for word as Peter had said them):
Do everything in life with all the passion of your soul.
Always play naked in the rain.
Never end the question.
Never question the end.
But, Jeff remembers them as:
Do everything with all the Energy and Passion your Aura has to offer.
Always run naked in the rain.
Never end the Question.
Never question the End.
And there are one or two other ones that we cannot remember at this time. Maybe we never will. So, in any event... I've thought about those rules for the past six years and tried to apply them to my life wherever possible. So, the other day I'm at my uncle Bob's wake (he, my father's youngest brother, died of pancreatic cancer quite suddenly at the age of 53) and my aunt starts talking to me about the Bible and she shared with me that Galatians quote that I posted a few days ago. And then on Friday morning, we had the funeral mass, which was the first time I'd been to church in quite a while and it was extra comforting since it was held at St. Francis de Sales... the church that I had attended, read the readings at, and been an altar boy at during grade school. I felt extremely honored to be asked by my dad and Aunt Ruthanne to be a pall bearer. After the funeral, our family met at a local restaurant and while we were about to leave after lunch, my Aunt Anne was handing out multiple copies of this book, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. She asked that after we read it, we sign our name on the inside of the book cover and pass it on to another family member and ask them to do the same. I thought, what a sweet idea. Then, at future family gatherings and holidays we'll have something else to talk about and we'll hopefully all be on more of the same "page," if you will (excuse my awful attempt at humor, it doesn't get much deeper than puns I'm sorry to divulge.) So, this book is pretty cool, although the religiousness is a bit overbearing or at least heavy-handed at times, but heck, if it'll help me figure out some of this thing called life, then I'm all about it. You're supposed to read one chapter a day and reflect on it all day. It's supposed to help you find the purpose of your life. Sounds good to me, actually, since I've been wondering what this whole thing (my life) was about for quite some years now. I've found an online copy, so if you want to check it out, Google "The Purpose Driven Life" and click the first link (the one with books.google.com in the URL). I'll let you know what I think about this whole thing (the book) in about 38 more days.