Monday 23 September 2013

Planning to live more than one life: RIP James Thomas

Today I was shocked and saddened to learn of not only of the death but of the killing of a friend from long ago.

When death comes from natural causes, it's sad enough. Abrupt, needless death is another matter.

James Thomas used to phone me on a Wednesday evening, or a Thursday evening or even a Friday evening, in a desperate situation, looking to put a band together to play for a party or a barn dance. Sometimes a mere couple of hours' notice. I was always happy to oblige, with my bass guitar, with the prospect of a rowdy dance, good fun, decent pay, and more.

The more: I want to dwell on that, because it was more. It meant much to me,

James gave the folk a short crash course on barn dancing: "heel and toe, do-ce-do and around you go" and then the whole thing would take off picking up ridiculous speeds.

Now that he has gone on, and I am left with these deeply affectionate memories, I think about the "more" that was involved, and my thoughts are daring.
He was a good Christian, living the standards of the Christian proclamation. I am not the same. I ask questions that Christians don't ask and can't answer. Yet I believe that if we were to catch up with each other, right now, we wouldn't do anything else other than laugh about the madness of those years, recognize that which is more, and live for that imperative.
It is an eternal imperative. The church that he attended made the statement via the local leader that James looked for growth, as an imperative matter for all, and my view of his work is that it shows this, throughout.
I pass the billboard to Cape Town, on the left, close to Maitland, the one that reads "Don't leave a will, leave a legacy" and I like the feel of this, even though I am not a multi-millionaire.
Do you come back?
Well, "coming back" is a loaded term, sounding very Eastern to the Westerners. No, YOU don't come back, you don't get the same plate of food twice, ever, nor do you step into the same river more than once. That's why our feelings let us know what's special.
Yet, if you have a plan to change more than what one life inhabits, your plan is greater than it could be, and if pursued, simply greater in effect than one life.
Most of us desire no more than to survive and if possible, to thrive during our one life.
Again, re-read Brian Weiss. He has a finger on the pulse of living's summary.
The point is this: living is full of meaning. We participate, gently, intuitively, and given the sense of purpose, penetratingly, in this sphere.
The service motive is more fruitful than the profit motive.
Thank you, James! It will come back, all of it, until humanity itself ends...

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