The Silver Valley welcomed me with open arms. A mining community through and through, the residents struggle to concede that tourism may be its next gold mine. That grit is what gives the community its charm. I was in Kellogg and Wallace, Idaho for three days, set to play some music in the evenings. I found myself with a lot of free time during the day. A LOT of time. So much time I wondered if I had entered another dimension. I suddenly couldn’t remember what I do with all my time when I’m at home. Do routines, habits, and obligations actually rob us of time? Having extracted myself from a life of compassion fatigue and burnout, I have been deliberate about how I spend my time — or so I thought.
On my mini tour of Idaho, I found myself in the Kellogg Cemetery asking myself these questions:
Am I conscious of how I spend my time?
How much time do I spend “being” versus “doing”?
When I die, will I feel proud of how I spent my time?
Does it matter?
I love cemeteries. I find solitude and camaraderie among the headstones. I get to be with people without talking to people. Have I mentioned I’m an introvert? I get to imagine what life was like for someone who died in 1930 and was preceded in death by two children. I find perspective. No matter what decade one lived and died, we share common experiences of humanity. The headstones that mark the passing of people in 2017 and 1917 seem to have been there for the same amount of time. Do each of these people live on in the memories of their family? Were they content with how they lived their lives? What is the purpose of life?
I think Ida and Josh had the right idea.
I wonder if Ida was named after her state and I imagine the couple looking at each other with devious twinkles in their eyes. I see them bickering about Josh putting the dishes away in the wrong spots after 20 years in the same house. I catch a glimpse of Ida looking at Josh with amused tenderness because she knows he was trying to make her happy, even if he messed it up. Secretly she loves that he still chases her in small ways after so many years.
Time slowed down with me.
Now back to my questions. First, I am clearly not conscious of how I spend my time and I think this is because much of it is spent in my imagination, making plans and incubating dreams. Second, I am definitely imbalanced in being versus doing. In fact, I often feel that I’m not doing enough if I’m only doing one thing. I keep getting the message to meditate and perhaps I will institute this as a routine one of these days. Third, I think I will mostly feel proud of how I spent my time when I die AND, fourth, I don’t think the question will be relevant once I cross over. We are eternal beings and time is an earthly concept that disappears when we make the transition. I caught of glimpse of the eternal during my time in Idaho because I slowed down long enough to experience it. Time slowed down with me. All the things I thought I “should be doing” before I arrived in Idaho seemed to temporarily disappear. When I returned home, the doing found me again and now you’re reading this blog post.
Please share, ask questions, leave comments, suggest topics, and tell stories! I want to hear about your moments of magic, miracles, and synchronicity.
Dare to be immortal.
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