Mortality mocks me in every reflection: in the felled leaf, dried and crumbled on the hot sidewalk, the decomposed apples in my kitchen basket, road-kill mercilessly spread across the pavement like jelly on burnt toast.

I can not turn away from mortality’s grotesque presence, not even in the mirror.

As the hairs on my head stream strands of gray and silver

and my skin becomes loosened with faint glimpses of waning youth.

Not just in body, but in thoughts and memories, all things slowly becoming more story than life. And the striking realization that almost half my life has been lived, that is if I live to 104, much more has been lived, if my time to come is anything less.

Aware with this heightened sense of mortality is both a gift and a curse.

A gift in that time becomes precious, no more useless dialogue about one days and what ifs.

A curse in that time becomes precious, so the impetus is to do it now and take absolutely nothing for granted. Particularly, that smile from a stranger, a simple hello, a curios phone call from a loved one, offering up the mundane “how are ya”, because one day, none of this will be, and we’ll all wish we had done it differently.

Oh, and to lament that which could be is such a useless waste of our precious time.

While all physical things decompose, so do our ignored creative impulses and dreams of travel and of love and of children, and of freedom.

As mortality rears it’s inevitability, I watch with terror and love, as my puppy ages, ever so gently, wondering when he will return to mystery.

So I write to acknowledge what I can not control, what I fear, and what I know life to be in all it’s temporary beauty, that everything about it, I love. Everything about it, I appreciate. Everything about it, I am thankful for.

The only thing I have learned that does not decompose, is love.

Love for my mother, for my grandparents, for Ozzie. And all the moments in between knowing, fidinging, lossing and longing for love…

Long after we are all gone, all that will remain is how deeply we loved one another and how we were deeply loved by each other.

As I am in awe and fear of my own mortality which mocks my longing for all good things to stay as they are, I turn my face towards the mystery of each moment and kiss precious time with lips that have stories to share, faces to kiss, songs to sing, truth to tell, silence to smile upon.

In memory and love of my mother who 8 years ago slipped into mystery, reminding me that it’s not the moment of leaving, but the moments of living that matter. I miss you Mom.

All my love.


©2019 Vanessa Elle Wilde. All Rights Reserved.