Let my voice be a melody
Reverberating with the energy of light
Let my eyes be gentle, a reflection of my soul in control
Not my ego
Let my actions generate peace
Let all toxins be rebuffed and may I only move
*wouldn’t that be great, if we could all be perfectly divine, peaceful beings, floating around warmly smiling and inspiring only loving actions, one after the other in a massive chain reaction of scraaaaaaassstch!
Then there is the people yelling at each other up the street, parent smacking their child while loudly berating – it hurts to watch. Hate speech. Whining, gossiping, sniping, complaining, bellicose grumbling. And my own grumpiness that settles in over some inconsequential thing.
Charles Bukowski wrote:
The trouble with death is that we forget about it. This great leveller, we refuse to recall, we are dying, all of us. One step closer every day, every hour, every minute.
I have been running up hills on holidays. We have quite a few and they give my lungs and glutes a hell of a workout plus they wear my high energy dog out so that she behaves herself so much better. I do too. Hills are hard. I am reminded of this every morning, but the views are sensational and I’m getting fitter and learning to relish the challenge. This morning we reached the top of Lows Lookout in record time and I glanced up to see an old man standing on the balcony of his amazing house. He waved and I grinned and waved back.
All that money, all those views. On this sparkling day and yet, he was closer to death than I (statistically anyway). I wouldn’t trade an iota of his amazing house and wealth for my fitness and health, my time. And yet I am dying too, each morning run, a little closer and my beloved Boxer Bodhi, at 8 is even closer than me and one day won’t be straining away full of energy beside me.
It sounds morbid I suppose to reflect on death, but I don’t do it to be morose. I think of death often, because it reminds me to be grateful for life. It reminds me to be kinder, deeper. It reminds me to savour and relish and enjoy.
This morning on the same run, I was listening to a podcast, it was murmuring in the background but I was struck by what this guy was saying suddenly “don’t let my voice be toxic”.
To think that we would allow our voice to be toxic, really struck me as a terrible thing. To think that we would inflict pain and suffering on another human or animal or even ourselves by the use of our voice seems suddenly unutterably sad. That we would weaponise our very humanity in this way, a great pity, a blight, a sin.
Yet we do it all the time. Unconsciously, thoughtlessly, angrily, in frustration and in impatience, with rage and temper and violence. Uncontrolled. Unthinking. Blind.
If it is this one thing, it is not a small thing, to decide to never do this again. With anyone or anything. To cease to be available as a mouthpiece for toxicity. To be silent, to be conscious and to be more aware of our ability to use our voice in the right way. The Buddhists call it right speech and I have read several great Buddhist books and yet the lesson never hit me the way it did this morning. Perhaps it was my moment to let that piece of information in. To really settle on my consciousness, instead of a piece of paper blowing through.
I don’t know why this struck me so deeply but it did and I’m glad of it. So I thought I would share it more widely in the hope that by writing it down, I may remember it. Have a lovely day.