I exist, a scion of unknown ancestors that began with the splitting of cells and transformations that changed everything over time. I was nothing before my conceptions and I return to that place. I am alive, with all my senses informing me of who I am and who I am becoming. Trust the process! I, you, we, all exist on the same plane, going through transformations every day until our final breath. Then, life goes on changing, individuals change, the universe changes. I return to the stuff of stars. That is the nature of things.
The impact of this thinking on me is to create in me a feeling of profound gratitude of ever having been born at all. I live with all my senses celebrating life. When my heart stops beating and feeding my brain, I decompose into what it is that humans decay into.

Meanwhile, I have had one wonderful life, full of joy/sorrow, anger/fear, gratitude/grief, and all the other feelings humans experience. I intend to create a life that stands for care, compassion, intolerance of intolerable behaviors, appreciation of differences, rejection of violence, working for peaceful co-existence, and finding positives to replace negative self-talk.

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Comment by Joan Denoo on November 1, 2015 at 12:13am

Daniel, Your cancer and mine, found at about the same time but manifested differently and with very different treatments. I know you will not waste whatever time you have ahead regretting or blaming or whining about your fate. It isn't your style because it wasn't your style before the diagnosis. 

You and I are the lucky ones. We had to work hard for what we have and have great appreciation for what we accomplished.

There is that timeline thing, from birth to death. Our stories differ, as do our challenges. There are those who come to the "generative" stage of living sad, afraid, and angry and I have no intention of marching out of living in such a state.  

I am grateful beyond anything I can express for the life I have lived. I look to the future of just being; that is enough. I am not somebody! I am plain old me and enjoying all my sensual pleasures as never before. I walk with the dogs in the forest finding plants I have never seen before. We sit and watch the birds at the feeders and just soak it all in. I go in the greenhouse while Dominic sits outside the door not wanting to go in the hot, humid funny looking building. I give him treats, just for the joy of it and he appreciates every little snippet. Then there is Spaz, the one eyed Pomeranian Chihuahua mix (Pomchi).

The wonderful thing about Spaz

is Spaz is a wonderful thing. 

His top is made of fluff

His bottom is made of springs!

He's bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy

Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!

The most wonderful thing about Spaz is

He is the only one. 

(Thanks to Richard Sherman & Robert Sherman for the structure of this poem)




Pomeranian Chihuahua mix (Pomchi)

Comment by tom sarbeck on October 31, 2015 at 8:01pm

I don't fear dying, and unlike Woody I will be there when it happens.

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 30, 2015 at 2:59pm

Gerald, I agree with that statement of Woody Allen's, 

‘’I’m not afraid of dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens’’,

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 30, 2015 at 2:54pm

Loren, we have been through some interesting experiences together. Your kind words and encouragement over those years encouraged me to grow and change. Friends, such as you, Loren, gave me courage and hope, neither of which I had when I joined A/N. I especially like your statement, "

"I'm glad of her good heart and willingness to contribute and help this secular agora grow and become more lively and vibrant. Most of all, I am glad to call that person, "friend."

I intend to mine the depths of my understanding of life and welcome criticism that reveals any fallacies in my thinking. I also intend to have some more fun with this group. 

Comment by Gerald Payne on October 30, 2015 at 2:32pm

We can’t contemplate a world without ourselves in it but we can prepare for the inevitable.
As the years go by I feel more and more at ease with the fact that the lights will shortly go out. How many people there must be that feel no such comfort, seeing death as the possible beginning of their worst nightmare, dreading being subjected to a final judgement by a being they’ve always been told it was wise to fear?
To most secular minds the act of dying is the event they’re not fussed on having to face, as Woody Allen said ‘’I’m not afraid of dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens’’, that’s probably a statement most would feel affinity with.

Comment by Loren Miller on October 30, 2015 at 2:02pm

Let me say for myself, Joan, that I am glad of that life and of the person who owns it, whom I met here some years ago.  I'm glad of her good heart and willingness to contribute and help this secular agora grow and become more lively and vibrant.  Most of all, I am glad to call that person, "friend."

This place would not be the same without you, Joan, and I hope it (and I[!]) can enjoy your company for a long time to come!

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