Yesterday, I listened to an amazing interview with Studs Terkel.

At one point Krista Tippet made a comment about how his book about death is really about life. He agreed and went on to talk about life and death.

In every day context, death seems so abstract. We experience people who are here, and then not here and we hear about people who are here, and then not here. But yet, itís very rare that weíre realizing the reality of death.

It occurred to me how strange it is that as a species, humans are obsessed with death, but itís so rare that we bring it to the forefront of our minds. Then I thought, ďOf course, we donít know what it is.Ē

As a rational being, I believe itís insignificant. As a human, I believe itís huge. Maybe itís that weird self-contradiction that bothers people, and itís easier to avoid it by calling it ďmorbidĒ and ďdepressing.

For some reason, thinking about death lifts my spirits. I donít mean that in a dark way, like Iím suicidal and yay, I just canít wait to get out of here, but maybe I am a weirdo, anyway.

Just like Studs Terkel, I believe that dealing with death is also dealing with life. Isnít that why we meditate on our breath? Each one is a special gift.

So, yesterday, I realized that I accidentally sent an amazon order to my old office building. I called a friend of mine and asked her to pick it up for me. Last evening, I went by her house to pick it up and sit and chat for awhile.

I caught up on all the gossip from the office and then I asked about another friend of mine. This friend, Iíll call her S, for her sake, is someone that I have known since we were freshman in college. We worked together at the same company for awhile, until about a year ago, when I got a new job.

We havenít been in touch lately (she hasnít answered my last few emails), so naturally, I asked about her.

My friend told me that another friend of hers ran into her somewhere (I donít remember the details) and asked S how the wedding plans are coming (sheís engaged, if you didnít gather that from the fact that someone is asking about her wedding plans).

In response, S broke into tears. Of course, this is merely gossip, so I donít know what actually transpired. Itís not even that strange, knowing her. She suffers from depression and has always suffered from depression and has always sought treatment for it.

It just seems like lately, sheís the least happy Iíve ever known her to be.

This isnít to say that Iíve never suffered from depression, of course I have, but Iíve also been pretty good at wrangling myself in a healthy direction, even if I donít want to go that way.

One of the biggest reasons I do wrangle myself in a healthy direction is because of my mortality. Mortality is a very emotionally charged concept to me. Even if there are other lives, there is only one this life. This motivates me. It motivates me a lot. Sometimes it motivates me to change my life, but most of the time, it just motivates me to enjoy what Iíve got. By the time Iím done, I end up feeling so blessed, I could drop dead right there, completely contented that Iíve had a good, fulfilling life.

Given that, I donít just worry about the quality of my life, I worry about the quality of life for other people, too. As a result, I was really disturbed about this news about S.

What do I do? Do I do anything? Do I do nothing?

In all honesty, even though Iíve had the blues, lately, and the occasional temper tantrum, I have a pretty good life. That is the reason why I rarely communicate a dark mood. I know what it is; a dark mood. Itís nothing more significant than that. Iím not being oppressed, tortured, killed or deprived of anything. Iím cranky because Iím spoiled and I get a little miffed during times when every little thing isnít going my way. Itís a luxury to be able to do that, and even when Iím being listless, I still recognize that it is a luxury.

I have a rich life. I obviously have a very rich life. Iím not a laugh a minute party girl, anyone who knows me will tell you that, but I make my life into something that I consider to be a rich place.

What does that have to do with her? Well, when youíre down, are you ever made happier by people who are up? Maybe you are. I donít know. I tend to find up people annoying as hell, when Iím down.

I donít want to be annoying as hell. I want to be helpful. I want to be enriching.

The other thing is, I have a lot of friends that I adore. Despite my mock jealousy of Nicole, I have nothing but the deepest admiration for her. I have very deep admiration for many of my friends.

This means that I donít really need her in my life and knowing that I donít need her in my life would make me insincere to try to give the impression that I do. I feel like that maybe she needs me.

If it were the other way around, I would feel no loss of pride to need someone who doesnít need me, but I donít know how many other people feel the same way.

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Friday, Dec. 19, 2008 at 8:17 AM