“I’m done with the winning because I’ve already won.” ~Charlie Sheen at his Roast on Comedy Central
Nine years ago today I got a text from my cousin, Keone, that our Grandfather passed. I would talk to my Mom (her Dad) a short while later about it, I talked to her today too, but I wanted to know if my parents minded if I donated a suitcase that they had from the time I was born. She laughed and said it was too heavy by these days standards and I wouldn’t be able to travel with much in it. I laughed too because I gave away my 45 litre backpack that I lived out of for so long because when I set on another quest, I’m going with a 30 litre. I’ve given away so much over the years and without trying too hard to live a fairly minimalistic lifestyle. I might just pull off the 100 item challenge one of these days…
Papa’s death was the craziest thing to happen in my life at that time. It sucked too because I hated myself. It was my first experience with the death of a family member and old enough to process what was going on with that at least. I observed so many things about it, so many that I wrote about it and talked about it often. The nine years since (read all about my views on Death), Death has become my guide, my friend, and of course something else, Death haunts me, not out of fear, but I wonder if I’ve truly lived fully each day. And as life gets crazier by the day, I wonder even more…
That day, I would go on to get ridiculously drunk. I don’t recall for certain but there was a very good chance I hung out with my friend Jason Suzuki, who I’ve lost touch with but have been thinking about this week as I ran into another old friend, Sandy Suzuki. Jay, as I called him, and he called me, and I both worked at Safeway in Manoa. I also worked with another Jay (Adair) at Safeway in Hilo, where I grew up with Sandy, and I thought of Jay (Suzuki) today because I Goodwill’d a backpack he gave me with a Patron logo. Jay’s a liquor distributor on the Big Island. So yeah, Jay Suzuki and I went out and I got blitzed. (See the theme, how it all connects?)
I came back to the dorms, where I worked, and I called Trista, the woman I began dating that night. We’d been talking off and on for a few weeks but that night she took care of me. I was four years older and that night, actually the duration of our relationship, she was wiser, knew how to care for me more than I did for myself. I hated myself. Just reiterating that in case you missed it.
I wasn’t very good in that relationship. Hindsight is always 20/20 and I can look back at each closed chapter (relationship) and see how many of the issues I had were because I didn’t love myself and visa versa. The dance of my whole life has taken me to this place inside, this place I talk about in readings, in consultations, in writing. I call it God, I call it Love. I can’t really describe it but I am glad I know how it feels. I never knew how it feels but you know, through all the tears of my life, many shed at the death of others as they changed suits, I have been carried through by that place in a strange way. It took me the duration of my life to realize, to experience, and the mystery unfolds more and more each day but I’m grateful to be alive and feel the way I do even though in many ways I have so little physically.
I’ve been living pretty minimally over the last year, as I said, I lived out of a backpack for months, and living without much else since. It’s funny because I used to have a truck bed worth of things when I left UH in 2006 because I put so much investment outside of me to escape me. It’s so silly because the best thing about life is within. No get me wrong, I love being alive, I love others, and right now, I’m really digging comic books, can’t wait to see another live baseball game, want to watch some football, hope Rampage destroys Bones, but I realize that what was once the focal point of my life, external stuff, doesn’t really matter, and God, beauty, Love, can be found in any experience. Something I think is really important, maybe because this attachment to what’s next or what was, was destroying me. I’m not attached like I once was.
I’m no Buddha but I’ve done very well at growing mindful and becoming unattached since 9 years ago today. And I have faith I’ll make it through whatever until I die because I made it through when I wasn’t even focusing on that place inside. When death happens, it just means all that I had to do on this plane is pau, just like how it was when Papa left that year and Old left last year, and many others. It’s all but a dream they say.
Mahalo ke Akua and wherever this leads, chee huu man. Chee huu.