After several busy days of going to funeral activities I find myself alone in a big empty house. I’m doing laundry and listening to inspirational speeches on the Internet, but mostly I’m sitting quietly and contemplating the things I’ve witnessed and thought about during the last few days. I’m also considering the conversations I’ve had with loved-ones and kind strangers. The topics of death, love, aging, loss, situational ethics, morality, passion and self-discovery have come up a lot, and things are finally beginning to make sense.
Being back in Utah is interesting. It’s easy to view this culture monolithically, but this trip has illustrated how textured and complicated we are. I’ve witnessed tiny moments of beauty within death, and I’ve seen terrible things that were born from love and fear. Most of our experiences exist somewhere within that spectrum. This trip has shown me there are too many dark corners we’re afraid to tell anyone about. That fear drives a lot of our choices in the wrong direction, and eventually leads us down the path of willful blindness and disengagement with life. It’s so wasteful.
It seems to me that we need to learn how to know ourselves before we do anything else. We need to learn how to be honest within ourselves before we look to other people for love, support or acknowledgment. “Live a truthful, authentic life that you are comfortable with,” seems to be the message this trip is attempting to deliver.