"History remembers the battle, but forgets the blood".
How disappointed I was to find that this was not really a quote by a historical figure, but merely a line from a movie (Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, no less). I was a little relieved to find a similar quote by Lincoln, which was "The world will little note nor long remember what you say here but it can never forget what you did here."
I realize that after such a long time between posts I shouldn't be hitting you up with history lessons (there will be a quiz after, btw), but I thought these few lines relevant to this here post. (Keep reading; post follows)
Last night I had the strangest dream. OK, it wasn't last night... it was like a few weeks ago... I've been busy, ok?!?! The date/time of the dream doesn't matter so much as the content of the dream does. And actually the content doesn't matter so much as the interpretation does (bear with me... it'll happen)
I dreamed that I was home... where I grew up. Except that I had the racer (which is the car of my dreams, btw). I was waiting to pull the racer into my Dad's shop to finish up some repairs, and what I was waiting for is my Dad to pull the big wrecker out of the bay so I could pull my car in.
In this dream, I was impatiently waiting while my Dad stood around and chatted with people. As I recall, he was leaning across the bed of a pickup (as he was prone to do) and just chatting away with whoever happened to stop by. (And, just so ya know, one of the very few people who follow this attempt at blogging, who also happens to be one of the very few people who are my sister, was one of those peeps.) Tra-la-la, how you doin... how's the wife and kids... what's the haps...read any good books lately...
I'm not big on waiting, and evidently this is no different in my dreams. My impatience must have shown, because Dad finally came into the shop to move the truck and, as he climbed into the truck, I made some snyde dream remark about how I'd been waiting to get on with my life, to which he replied "Oh, cuz what I've been doing isn't living".
And then in the dream he proceeded to back the tow-truck out of the shop and right across the top of the racer. One of those "oops, I must have hit something.. lemme drive forward and back and hit it again" things where the car was pretty much flat. I was SO mad!!! And then I woke up and I was SO mad!!
I told this dream to a REALLY good friend of mine (guess who it is.. I dare you!)... and her first comment was "so was it good to see your Dad again?"
This was a dream about how frustrated I was that my car had been crushed into a beautiful red pile of scrap metal.. and then suddenly it was a dream about... about... about what matters most?? How does that happen?!?
But happen it did. And I realized that I DID like seeing my dad again. And I realized that even after he's gone, Dad keeps on teaching me things. And I realized that I would really really hate it if someone ran over my car in a big truck and smashed it beyond all recognition.
And in the moments and minutes and days after, when I had time to think about it, I realized that "what I've been doing isn't living" is exactly what I've been missing. Shhhh! Keep reading!
Living isn't collecting things. Living isn't stuff done. I don't care what all the time management gurus and woo-woo classes tell you... living is not about accomplishments. It's not about collecting things or even collecting experiences. Living is about the relationships that we involve ourselves in. It's not even about the difference we make in each other's lives, but the fact that we actually are in each others' lives. Living is knowing that the guy who works just down the hall is going through a tough divorce. It's knowing that your neighbor is going to retire and move away in a couple of months. It's knowing the guy who bags your groceries is trying to get a scholarship and move across the country and he's scared to death to set out on his own. Living is knowing the people around you.
"Cuz what I've been doing isn't living."
I can't imagine a better testimony to living, a better way to show that you were here and you made a difference, than to be there for someone else... to listen... to let another person know that their life makes a difference in your own. Or even that their story is even a little bit interesting. And, I guarantee you, everybody's story is at least a little bit interesting. (even mine!)
So let's do this: let's do our best to try and remember to help each other keep in mind (cuz it really is that difficult at times) what really matters. And what really matters isn't what we have or where we go or what we do. It's what we share and the company we keep... not the experiences we have, but who we have them with. What's important.. is Us.