“One of the strangest things about life is that it will chug on, blind and oblivious, even as your private world – your little carved-out sphere – is twisting and morphing, even breaking apart. One day you have parents; the next day you’re an orphan. One day you have a place and a path. The next day you’re lost in the wilderness.

And still the sun rises and clouds mass and drift and people shop for groceries and toilets flush and blinds go up and down. That’s when you realize that most of it – life, the relentless mechanism of existing – isn’t about you. It doesn’t include you at all. It will thrust onward even after you’ve jumped the edge.”

-Lauren Oliver

The other day as I trimmed a twisting vine that had wrapped around my young maple tree, I marveled at the persistence of life. How did the vine know, or perceive, the tree branches in order to wrap around them? Some vines entwined in the fence lattice. A few tendrils hung loose, waving in the air, uncommitted. They had not found their destination yet.

I relentlessly pulled all the tendrils to free the tree. I did this knowing that at some point I’ll do it again. Life creates itself and follows its own expression. In the form of plants, it expresses the vine and tree. In the form of my own body and soul, it expresses in writing, art, relationships, interaction, all filtered through the consciousness that’s been shaped by this body and its experiences.

When I die, and the consciousness that is specific to this body and its life leaves, where does it go? I don’t know. But I find comfort in the fact that life itself continues, and I tell myself a story that this “me” will join a bigger consciousness capable of witnessing dimensions I cannot conceive. Or maybe there is nothing. What a mystery!

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