Fatum: Life's sublime plan ?

"Life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences, but rather it is a tapestry of events that culminate in an exquisite, sublime plan."

"Jonathan Trager, prominent television producer for ESPN, died last night from complications of losing his soul mate, and his fiancee. He was 35 years old. Soft-spoken and obsessive, Trager never looked the part of a hopeless romantic. But, in the final days of his life, he revealed an unknown side of his psyche. This hidden quasi-Jungian persona surfaced during the Agatha Christie-like pursuit of his long reputed soul mate, a woman whom he only spent a few precious hours with. Sadly, the protracted search ended late Saturday night in complete and utter failure. Yet even in certain defeat, the courageous Trager secretly clung to the belief that life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences. Oh no, but rather, its a tapestry of events that culminate in an exquisite, sublime plan. Asked about the loss of his dear friend, Dean Kansky, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and executive editor of the New York Times, described Jonathan as a changed man in the last days of his life. "Things were clearer for him," Kansky noted. Ultimately Jonathan concluded that if we are to live life in harmony with the universe, we must all possess a powerful faith in what the ancients used to call "fatum", what we currently refer to as destiny." -Dean's speech, From the movie Serendipity:

Did the Greeks have obituaries ?  This movie alleges that the Greeks only asked one question after a man died, "Did he have passion ?"  Whether this was true remains to be proven, but it is a beautiful, simple, way to hold the light up to our lives.  It seems simple, we either live with passion, or we do not. Ultimately, if we look in the mirror, we know whether we are succeeding or failing at this enormous task. We may try to lie to ourselves, but the truth always tugs at our heart, knowing if we are fulfilling our lives passionately or merely just ticking away our days. Make no mistake, in the end, this truth will surface in our last hours. We will either feel deep regret and remorse, or we will breathe peacefully, knowing we did most of what we wanted and needed to do. We will know if we righted our wrongs, climbed our highest personal mountains, and fought passionately for the things in our lives that meant the most to us.  These are the things that will answer the question, "Did we live with passion".

It has been said by many that death is the great equalizer. I do not believe this to be true. What we did in our lives, the principles by which we lived, are what will define us. Though we will all end in the same state after those last brainwaves, not everyone will have ended equally.  It is the principles we held up strongly, the ethics and morals we stood for, the lives we touched and changed and how passionately we loved that will have defined us in the end. Those are the things that live on, that can be reflected on by the living, and possibly impact those lives in turn in a meaningful way.  People will remember how you made them feel, even if it was the smallest of gestures that impacted them profoundly, sometimes for the rest of their lives. That is the stuff that matters.

"Life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences, but rather it is a tapestry of events that culminate in an exquisite, sublime plan."

Those little things we all do in our days, those things that might seem meaningless and trivial yet have even the slightest flavor of being of lesser high-character, are part of our life's tapestry and define the trajectory of our lives moving forward. If we are being honest with ourselves, we are occasionally confronted with small, perhaps softly moral-corrupting, choices.  These seemingly trivial choices, things that no one will ever know about, are critical threads of our lives.  What we do in those moments, these threads, the choice to take the low road or the high road, knowing only we will know the details or facts of the moment, these are the things that define us. They carry forward and slowly siliently weave into our fibers of being.These are the weak or strong threads we weave into our personal tapestry that define the moral and ethical trajectory and longevity of our brief existence. After our final breath, we cannot reweave our life's choices, its' integrity and longevity can only be defined by how well we wove it while we were here. How we will be remembered, by those we touched and loved, will be defined by how well we wove the pains, pleasures, kindness, challenges, confrontations, mistakes and of course the other good stuff, during our lives while we were here. 

Fatum, passion, fill your life with them. Weave only the good stuff into your life's tapestry, but equally as important, pull out the weak threads you have left woven into your life, and replace them with the threads you can be proud of, ones that speak more truthfully of who you aspire to, and can, be.  We still have time to reweave the fragile threads we've left that fester in our conscience, they are the same ones we leave festering in the hearts of others. Clean up these things, and then fight passionately for the things you believe in, and never give up, not even for a day. For, in the end, you can have no regrets . . . . after all, the problem is, we think we have time.

- Shawn


A final thought for the reader,

I write for me, and me alone. However, I share what I write because if there is any possibility that my words can reach just one person with similar woes, perhaps it can re-weave more than one tapestry and change more lives exponentially than my own. I write about the things in life that I question, things that vex me, tear at me, twist me, things that bounce around my mind and leave me without peace and clarity.  I choose to write about them when they grow, it is a manner of final confrontation to silence them by finding honest meaning in them. I do this in the great hopes that in my final days my last breath can be a peaceful exhale, and not an anxious final gripping and denying struggle for the things I denied resolving. This fear fuels my life, may it fuel yours as well. 

As Hunter Thompson was once quoted, "One of the few ways I can almost be certain I'll understand something is by sitting down and writing about it. Because by forcing yourself to write about it and putting it down in words, you can't avoid having to come to grips with it. You might be wrong, but you have to think about it very intensely to write about it. So I use writing as a learning tool. "

*All quotes are from the movie, Serendipity. Not a 5star movie in the least, but one that had a few quotes that resonated with me many moons ago, ones I wrote down and tucked away, until it was time to put them to a more formal written piece; a time when I could make more meaning from them. For those who care to see the movie clip, here is the link:  http://youtu.be/hkXumOkoFSI