Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Life is a Cabaret!

Last week, my family and friends suffered a great tragedy.  A 14 year old relative of my sister died in the woods after being shot with a BB gun in the head by his best friend.  At first we were shocked, then we were steeped in sorrow, and now, we celebrate the life that was lived and mourn the life that could have been.  Many people cried aloud, some let the tears slowly trickle down their faces and mourned in silence.  I have yet to do either.  Many may think that I am heartless, others say I feel nothing, and I quietly sit in the corner observing the passers-by and their reactions.

The truth is that I don't know what I am supposed to feel.  I am angry at the parents who bought a gun for their child yet failed to teach him the responsibility and danger that comes with owning any type of gun.  I am shocked that such a freak accident could have occurred while celebrating at a birthday party.  I am bewildered that the Maker would take such an innocent life that had not yet lived.  I am frightened that the same could happen to me at any moment.  So many emotions have flowed through this weak body during the period of a week that I can hardly begin to enumerate all of them.

I am reminded of my own mortality at times like these which try men's souls.  However, I find solace in the fact that death came rather quickly for our little one.  He lived life like tomorrow was not given.  He loved hard, he played hard, he laughed hard, and with every breath he took he learned hard and lived hard.  Little ones understand a language that we, as adults, have long forgotten: "Life is a cabaret."  Sure, we all know the lyrics of the Broadway show-stopper, but how often do we really live it.  I know that I spend more time than I care to nit-picking over the little things in life and less time than I need sucking the marrow out of life.

We need to learn that living is an active word while being is a passive word.  I tend to sit alone in my room without music, without nourishment, without joy, without love, without laughter.  But that will very shortly come to an end.  Maybe I will adopt the Epicurean philosophy of "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry."  Maybe I will make more of an effort to celebrate the little things in life.  Maybe I will try harder to show the ones I love how much they mean to me.  But I will definitely remember that Life is a Cabaret and that you have to show up in order to enjoy the experience.

"Cabaret" by Liza Minnelli

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