Do Life Together

2013 karen lauren birthday

The biggest lesson that I have learned this year is “do life together.”

Do life together,

because together is where friendships are born

and love is made.

Doing life together means

asking questions,

listening to answers,

and telling people how you are really doing.

Doing life together is

asking for help

and showing up when celebrations are happening,

and when people are getting together just to get together.

Friendship is enough of an excuse to invent reasons to celebrate life,

to have fun,

and to make picnics,

even on consecutive days.

It’s okay to depend on other people,

and give what you can,

because doing life together

creates a warm enough circle

for you to invite just about anyone in

(even a bleeding stranger)

and know that there is room for them, too.

Doing life together

is understanding that

three strands are not quickly broken,

we keep warm together,

and that though lives shared

can be counted in stopped time, burnt money, miles walked, traffic traversed, hours in the kitchen, sleep deprivation headaches, lapsed concentration, and rearranged schedules,

we give of ourselves without counting the cost.

It’s okay if it doesn’t make sense–

it being the things we give,

the fictional stories we tell,

the unfunny jokes that we make,

and the time that we waste.

Life doesn’t make sense anyway:

Confusion, misunderstanding, unmet expectations, disillusionment, prejudice, stigma, disgust, shame, pride, stubbornness, insults, hate, hurt, hunger, existential angst, doubt, suffering…

Those leaden bricks pile on and on

in an endless tower on our backs.

We should make some nonsense of our own,

the kind that buoys us,

gives us smiles,

makes us laugh,

and tethers us firmly to the ground,

but lets us drift lazily in the breeze,

a kite in the air.



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