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A dime and a billion dollars

“Happy Hour” by Daniel Cartier. 2019 - ballpoint pen, acrylic and collage.

I was going through notes in my phone and this leapt out at me.

So long as we value ourselves in this moment - that’s all that matters, because it’s the only acceptance we have any control over.

Acceptance from others is a nice byproduct of hard work, showing up and being accountable, but it’s never guaranteed.

A person could wait their whole life for acceptance that never comes. That’s sad to think about, especially if the person’s happiness is tied irrecoverably to that acceptance.

Meanwhile our life is brief. Compared with infinity, we’re all just whispers - fleeting and ephemeral. Our entire species is a blip.

This fragility of life applies to everyone, including those who don’t “choose us”, “like us” or “get us”.

In the end we’re all in it together - just temporary lights flickering brightly for a moment, followed immediately by whatever’s flickering next. How sad to use up our brief time here vying for acceptance. What a waste of this brief whisper of life we’re given.

In the end, the world’s richest and poorest all wind up the same. Death makes us all equal.

The billionaire and the peasant were equal to begin with. They just didn’t realize it.

One begged for scraps of bread. The other chased, and presumably made, billions of dollars during their brief moment here.

But all that stuff was on loan - both the bread scraps and the billions of dollars.

A bread scrap and a billion dollars are all the same to ghosts. Once we’re gone, money, fame, fortune, prestige … even scraps of bread… they’re all just stage props the living “act out life with” while they’re here.

While we’re here, we think these things are what’s important, but aside from the scrap of bread (we need food to live), the rest of it is just “stuff”.

All of it’s earthly value dies with us.

Love on the other hand… that lives on.

So do the good and bad deeds we do.

Even ghosts can look back at the ripples of love or hate their cast stones created the sea of life.

We are gone … but our ripples (both good and bad) continue rippling outward in the land of the living.

So it all comes back to right now. Doesn’t it?

Is our “now” amazing?

Is there love in our hearts?

Do you choose you?

Do I chose me?

Can we be enough for each other?

Can we be enough for ourselves?

Can we cast stones of love into the sea of life?

Can we let go of the ripples these stones create, and trust they’ll ripple out where they’re needed?


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