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I've spent the last two days in hospital at the bedside of a friend, while he recovered from his own death.

I was recovering from his death as well, as it happened in my dining room.  He was chewing gum and singing one minute. Barely breathing the next.

My neighbor and I did our best to keep him alive while the ambulance angels arrived, thronged into my living room and whisked the grey-faced body to hospital as quickly and calmly as only they can.  You've never seen people moving so fast take things so slowly!

Two days later in the Intensive Care, he was musing on being lucky to be alive. 
"Good thing there's no brain damage," he said, barely able to speak after the tubes and lines were removed that had kept him alive for a day.
"I'll be the judge of that," I quipped.
We laughed.
The recovery had begun.

His journey to recovery will be whatever that turns out to be: the body healing, the mind recovering full equilibrium, and who knows what else may come to him.

For me, I can already tell you two odd things have shifted. Both point to something bigger.

Everything I've eaten today tastes sweet. Water tastes sweet. Soup tastes sweet. My mouth tastes fresh.  Odd. Not unpleasant, but odd.

I also walked into my closet and realized I could be rid of half my clothes.  No problem.

Only days before I was on a mission to clear out anything I don't wear. As all girls will know, there is always a moment of truth to be had when you are deciding to "throw" or "not to throw."

I was having some trouble letting go of a few pieces that, although I hardly wear, cost me more than I'd like to admit. I was hesitating and stammering and frankly, attached. I think I felt a bit foolish getting rid of them.  I felt even more foolish standing there now looking at what only days before had seemed so important. The "I might need this one day!" attitude had left me.  I had no desire to see these things hanging on the rail for another year. 

The logic that keeps closets all over the world filled to bursting, is a curious one.  I've talked about it in my book in the chapter on Wants, Desires and Addictions and how "so much of our wanting is fused with our self-esteem and personal identities."  As happens so often, I come back to my own words.  "Once we know how long we have to live, our desire to experience life intensifies."

These things I have do not constitute Life.  Life can only be experienced. It cannot be owned.

As I returned from hospital today to my closet I couldn't imagine that only 48 hours before I felt so attached to pieces of clothing. I knew I would easily let go of this and more.  In my mind's eye, I saw my closet full of things I love to wear, not things I can't bear to throw out. 

It is very strange all the little ways I learn about myself. 

As I considered all the things that would now be leaving my home forever, I felt an intense desire to get back to my own life's work.
 


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