Perpendicular to my residential block is a large, prominent cemetery. When I first moved to the neighborhood, about four years ago, I was not a fan of this cemetery. It felt creepy and weird. But over time, I barely thought about it. Recently, however, it has served as a reminder of life. You see, every 6-8 weeks, like clockwork, I catch a Saturday funeral procession. Those are the worst. Here I am, coming home from boot camp class, parking my car and I will witness that long, never-ending slow procession. Or, while washing dishes I may see through my kitchen window, a horse-drawn chariot enter the gates. Today, I sat in my car gathering my things and sat to watch how the CTA bus would treat the temporary traffic jam. It fascinates me so.
I have seen the procession of people who's lives have been cut short, due to violence (there were sign-carrying 'stop the violence' marchers accompany them). The slow steady crawl of mourners of people I presume to have been police officers. My mood is usually a weird mix between sadness, gratefulness and restlessness. The last mood, restlessness, comes when I think of how little time we have. I catch myself before tearing up to think, 'now is the time.' I am sure most of the deceased who have been driven through those gates had something marked on their calendars for an upcoming date and time. Or something they kept putting off until later. All probably had at least one or two items left of their bucket list.
A co-worker told me yesterday, he likes reading my blog, because I have a very 'robust' life. I was flattered. He finds it funny that I look at my life as quite mediocre. Which, to some degree, I do. He compares me to the movie 'Brown Sugar'. In his eyes, there is so much to my life. And it is; but I told him, there is so much more out there that I have not even tapped into yet. That cemetery is my reminder. There is a national commercial that runs relatively frequently. It features a man riding a motorcycle narrating how he became a biker. It ends with him saying he wants to leave this world exhausted (or something to that effect). Basically, as dancers would say, leave it all on the stage. Live life to the fullest.
I visited the cemetery for the first time a few months ago with a girlfriend who's mother is buried there. My girlfriend had not been to the grave sight in years. She has always said her mother would watch over me since we're neighbors of sorts. If she is, I hope she likes what she sees.