Sunday, November 4, 2012

Confronting Your Own Death

“The great secret of death, and perhaps its deeper connection with us, is this: that, in taking from us a being we have loved and venerated, death does not wound us without, at the same time, lifting us toward a more perfect understanding of this being and of ourselves.” 
– Rilke

You can not escape death.

You can not escape the fact that those you love will die.

You can not escape that you too will die.

Death belongs to life.

Facing death makes us more alive.

Right now, if you are reading this, then you are alive.

SO LIVE.
  
Live the life that you are destined to live.  Live the life you are meant to live.
  

Live Your Life Like It Were A Song

Friday, August 3, 2012

Like Death ... A Mack Truck Coming At You Can't Be Ignored

As I was preparing for the first workshop I was thinking of my elevator speech to quickly explain the project and I boiled it down to saying: "You will have an opportunity to write your 'Just In Case I Get Hit by a Mack Truck Letter' to loved ones".

I thought it would make the subject a little lighter, give folks a visual and something everyone could relate to.

Well, I've been traveling on the road a lot, since my mother's death, and I've been looking for Mack Trucks as I've been driving.

Although there are a lot of big trucks on the road you don't see many MACK trucks, but when you do see them, you CAN'T ignore them.

The word MACK is written on the grill in big bold letters. The only other truck that I saw that had it's brand predominately on the grill was GMC but it just didn't have that same bold feel as the word MACK.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Death is Like Moving to Another City

If you were moving to another city from your home town would you plan for it?

Yes, you would.

You would probably figure out where you are going first, then you would start making preparations to leave your home town.  You would close out accounts, resign from your job, say bye to your friends, sale your house, start packing your things, give away things you don't need, and start on your journey to your new town.

Death is like moving to another city.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

First Workshop Cancelled...Because Today Was My Mother's Funeral...

I don't know if this is ironic or providence. Today was the date for the first Black Folder Project Workshop and it was cancelled because my mom died on Monday and today was her funeral. I don't know what that means. I just don't know yet, but I know that it has a meaning.  Going through all of the emotions created by the thoughts and memories of my mother over the last week has helped me to see how much I have grown (or not) regarding inner wholeness and peace.  In some aspects I have matured in others I realized I fell terribly short (and only my son really got to see those raw misplaced emotions).

Death is Real - Face it
In all of this I realize, again, that death is a part of life.  You can't escape the death of loved ones or your own death.  At first I was a little "skittish" about even writing the word death on this project for fear it would make some people afraid.  

Actually I asked a preacher friend of mine to look at the website and tell me what she thought. I really wanted to know if she thought churches would welcome me in their buildings and congregations and she said "traditional" preachers might be "skittish" at the topic.  That was interesting, and it will be interesting going forward just how many "traditional" preachers will embrace this head on - for real - not the scaring people about death (the frightening door as Marie Howe calls death in her poem), but really helping people to prepare for it. 

Well, at this point, today, I feel like - so be it.  Death it is.  Straight-up. Bold-faced. This project is about Life and DEATH.  I looked at death in the face today.  In my mother's face and death wasn't scary.  Looking at her face, it wasn't my mother's face, no more than it was my friend Bill's or my brother Paul Wesley's or my father's.  

July Flyer

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Black Folders Are In

The black folders arrived ahead of the promised date.  They don't look like that old black folder that I have. Mine is sturdier than the ones that are available for purchase now.  Maybe I'll keep looking after I use these 100 folders.

So, there is no more waiting.  I need to put the final touches on the workshop.
Everywhere I go I think of something new to put into the experience that I want others to have.

Kahlil Gibran
Yesterday on my daily walk around the block I was meditating on the lines in Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet (because it's a small enough book for me to read and ponder as I walk):  "Say not, 'I have found the path of the soul'. Say rather, ' I have met the soul walking upon my path'. For the soul walks upon all paths."   That stopped me in my tracks.  It was powerful.  It helped me to connect so many dots that have led me to this project and to the inner-knowing that I need to do it.  That I can't NOT do it. That I don't need for anyone to validate it. There is something that just feels right about it

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ordering Black Folders

Who knew that you could not just go into an office supply store and buy Black File Folders.

So, I've been driving all over town looking for Black File Folders and there aren't any.

I went to Office Max, Office Depot, Staples, and Target.  There aren't any just plain black folders even in those fancy-cutesy folder packages.  There were black folders with little designs and cute images on them, but not just plain black folders.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

What does a mother do who has raised her child, lives six hours from "home", decides not to go here and go there just to be going here and going there?  One listens to music that pumps you up, types a blog post, works on the Black Folder Project Workshop details, prepares encouraging crafts for baby boomers and teenagers, dreams a new dream and realizes life is as good as you make it.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Welcome to the Black Folder Project™



Since 2001 I have had a Black Folder.

Why A Black Folder?
I gathered things together like my Last Will and Testament and Life Insurance Policies for my only son.  I had many of these documents scattered throughout my files and I just decided to put them in one place. When I was organizing I happened to find a black folder and decided to put the documents in that black folder.

My son was not quite an adult at that time.  I thought the easiest way for him to remember where to look for these important documents was to tell him that no matter what to look for a black folder.  There he would find what he needed to take care of business and carry on. 


Adding Letters in the Black Folder
Over the years I decided that just having the legal documents in this folder was not enough and I should at least write him a note. I was doing a lot of traveling for work at that time.  Almost annually I would write him a letter.  (There were some years that I forgot, or maybe I just was feeling invincible and confident that this wasn't going to be my year, and the previous letters would suffice).