Because I am (more than) a little bit contrary? Well, that could be true. On the inside at least. On the outside, I reckon it’s all very ordinary.
Because I think that we can do death better? Okay, I do.
Because I think that we can do life better too? Yes, that too. Absolutely that too.
It’s not because I think there’s an unserved niche in the market (even though I suspect there is).
It’s not because I have all the answers. I don’t (Sorry, and I mean that!). I have a few, and I can point you in the right direction if what you need now isn’t what I am offering.
It’s also not because people tell me that I am calm or kind or brave or armed with a relentless sense of (unpredictable) humour.
It’s not because I am curious (to a fault) or honest (also to a fault).
It’s because the fingerprint of me just works this way. It’s how I view the rhythm of the seasons, aging, gardening, the changing nature of the sea, the moon, the risk and reward of loving deeply and living bravely. It’s akin to Stoicism’s interpretation of Amor Fati (to love one’s fate) and the subsequent imperative to seek and make a life worth loving.
There’s nothing like the reality, the finality, the unarguable enormity of death to make us consider our life. Death makes even the briefest consideration of life’s meaning a worthwhile one.
Palliative specialists and end-of-life practitioners have been known to say that people who know that they are dying talk about how they want to live; and that people who are living talk about everything else. Holding up these two aspects of life and death, like mirrors for each other, is really beneficial to the conversation. It’s about what one reveals in the other.
Holding up life and death like sides of a (hopefully fantastic) sandwich is where the work is. For all of us. It’s what’s in the filling. It’s what we aim for in life. It’s how we eat our way through it. It’s where we source life’s goods. It’s about creating a life we can stand over, a life we can recognise, a legacy we can celebrate. Questions about our purpose and our happiness are questions to ask here (and now!). Strategies on pursuing our authenticity, our dreams and speaking our truth are so worthy.
So that’s why. I do them both to find balance in my own cause and in my work, because the fingerprint of me just works this way.