I am meditating on a deck above the beach looking east into the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean. My beach shack is on a tiny island a few hundred miles from the mainland. The wind off the sea is a strong twenty knots and the salt spray floats across the waters and settles on everything a salty mist. The churning waters are a milky blue opaque and the whitecaps run clear to the horizon. Swimming in the chop with only a mask and snorkel is like a sensory deprivation tank. You cannot see anything but the milky water, which acts as a mirror reflecting your thoughts, and there is nothing but the vast sea surrounding you with neutral buoyancy. Breathe deeply and inhale fresh clean air. There is life in every breath. This is the life of a Zen Buddhist. This is bushido the life of the warrior. So breathe deep and be grateful for the gift of life and all it entails as the sunset turns blood red.



Don’t die this year. I need all the live friends I can get.

Don’t chew the diamonds.

It is my habit that before I retire at night I brush my teeth. I put the toothpaste on my Braun whirling toothbrush, put the device in my mouth and turn it on, then I walk through my apartment and out onto my terrace. There I look over the city and around the terrace until the two-minute signal from the device goes off. Depending on the evening I usually brush longer then walk back to the bathroom still brushing. Then I load my portable water pick with warm water twice and use it on my teeth and gums.

So I was really surprised when I woke up this morning and had a small piece of something in my mouth. At first I thought I had somehow chipped a tooth in the night. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be a square chip of glass. How did the glass get into my mouth? How come it did not wash out with all the brushing and cleaning? How come I did not swallow it sleeping on my back through out the night? And what damage could it have done if I swallowed it? A lot more questions then answers. This was a mystery that I could not solve. Had I swallowed the glass and it caused a blockage in my heart who would have known the cause of my death and even if they found out what did they think?

As I move through life, enjoying every minute above ground, enduring the slow death of a thousand cuts, explanations for events and actions become tiny movements of actions toward oblivion. My eventual demise becomes acceptable and just another minuscule tick in the universe. Acceptance cancels out fear and writing about death, a topic that was so hushed and not discussed as I journeyed through life, is liberating and informative to those who have trouble facing the inevitable.

I think about the people that I have known all my life that have died. Some had so few possessions that there entire life fit into a few cartons while other had such a complex existence that it took years to settle their affairs and possessions. Still, in just three generations all of us will not be remembered except for a few photos or records of our brief survival.