Let’s Adore One Another Now!

Oct 25, 2017

Let’s Adore One Another Now!

I’m preparing to give a talk to the volunteers with Hospice Ottawa on the theme of pleasure and sexuality at end of life. I know some things about death. I have been a part of a few care teams when friends have died. Almost 20 years ago, I supported my teenage daughter in her passing. This past year in the poetry school I participate in, we worked with the theme of death. These experiences have helped me get closer to the reality of my own mortality.

The difficult task of living fully

When faced with death many people regret they have so little time left, and perhaps they wished they had spent the time they did have better. Almost always the message from a friend’s passing is – live fully now! Why is it so easy to let this gift slip away, to be shortly once again caught up in the minutia of life? The preciousness of life is often blunted by the “to do list”.

I notice this myself. I let things irritate me, pre-occupy me, and take up my attention. I imagine when I’m dying all I will see is how beautiful life is, because I know life is so beautiful, but I forget. I imagine I will want to savour every moment. I’ll find the faces around me so precious, and each moment full of wonder and awe. This is the Intense presence and aliveness that I’ve seen come when the veil between life and death grows thin.

The message of death

When I think about the connection between that message of death – live fully now – so many of the things living fully mean are pleasurable. Fully taking in the sunsets, giving my full attention to the person I’m with and the conversation that is unfolding, getting out of my routines to make space for serendipity and spontaneity, and the magical moments that can arise when life is less scripted.

The importance of the Pleasure Pause

As I prepare for the talk, I realize the Pleasure Pause practice I do myself and offer to others takes on a deeper meaning. Those short 45-second mindfulness breaks to take in some small aspect of pleasure is a tiny taste of a magical moment. An invitation into that state of consciousness that is fully alive, awake, and present. I want to additionally use the Pleasure Pause to remind myself of my capacity to shift my consciousness to: this is the only moment I have. This moment holds everything I need.

On a lighter note and to address the sexuality part of the talk, I remember a poem by Rumi a 13th century Persian poet and Sufi mystic with a wicked sense of humour. It kind of captures it all:

Let’s Adore One Another - Rumi

come on sweetheart
let’s adore one another
before there is no more
of you and me
a mirror tells the truth
look at your grim face
brighten up and cast away
your bitter smile
a generous friend
gives life for a friend
let’s rise above this
animalistic behavior
and be kind to one another
spite darkens friendships
why not cast away
malice from our heart
once you think of me
dead and gone
you will make up with me
you will miss me
you may even adore me
why be a worshiper of the dead
think of me as a goner
come and make up now
since you will come
and throw kisses
at my tombstone later
why not give them to me now
this is me
that same person
i may talk too much
but my heart is silence
what else can i do
i am condemned to live this life

Next entry: What is the story you’re telling about pleasure?

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