When an elderly person warns you to “seize the day”, you might roll your eyes. But when a young friend dies, you look at every day they had and admire the ones they stole. The times they set apart from apathy and declared the moment, the feeling, the impetus for action as their own to ignite, engage, and rejoice.
You see in their life primarily the things in them you admire–that which you yourself wish to achieve, but that through them provided richness in your own life. Never does it get reduced to possession. Never does it get reduced to beauty. Never does it get reduced to titles or vanity or even how many bitches be rollin’ with your top down.
When someone dies your response is entirely a selfish one: how did this person affect me? ME? Invariably, your fate will bring the same response.
If you worry that your friends and family, upon your death, will have nothing to remember of the ideas you bring, the comfort and connection you make, and the inspiration you incite daily into their lives, then clearly your days are yet to be seized.
The old adage was correct. Seizing the day, attacking life, growing some damn balls, just givin’er–these aren’t expressions to pass lightly or to validate some fraternity prank. They are urgent warnings and dire pleadings from both those that have decided to pursue their own self-defined happiness as well as those who sank in misery of never having taken a risk.
One must believe in themselves, their connection with everyone around them. When this happens, one becomes un-contained and self-determined, and more importantly, their community of friends are enriched not only by the expanded potential of their being, but by the integral wholeness that now imparts their strength. Life is not an option, but living it is.
Jeff Carr (“Canis Minor”), a ripe banana in the DDP army, a rare character, and a friend to a surprising melange of friends from all walks of life, passed away last weekend, three weeks after his 24th birthday.
Tragedy is not in his death, but the potential it removed. Had Jeff not traveled, lived dangerously, ridden bikes, taken risks, made friends, challenged authority, danced madly, explored humanity, valued connection, and made many hundreds of others smile with him, the tragedy would be that he’d never have even truly lived.
His most recent adventure was a second tour through South Asia including Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, bringing colour, costumes, and the Party Manifesto with him. That takes balls–that takes a righteous disregard for how anyone else might want to determine your experience, your happiness, your life.
He became fearless enough to enjoy the world around him, and inventive enough to create an atmosphere in his life that was bold and exciting. I was fortunate to be his friend and still envy others their friendship in him.
Jeff Carr’s waves still ripple.
Written by Michael Jenkins