Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Day of Heaven and Hell

I was driving my youngest to preschool when I got a text from a good friend.  It went something like this...

"If you could replay one day from your life eternally that represented Heaven on earth and likewise, Hell, which ones would they be and why?

Apparently, she was listening to a radio program that asked this question and she started pondering it.

Immediately, I retorted back with something shallow and not well thought through,  "Heaven would be a continual day at the spa and Hell would be a day of doing laundry and dishes and making lunches for all of eternity."

And then, she sent back an extraordinary message that really captured her most perfect day and the perfectly fucked up one.

And it was sobering.

We all have different versions or visions of mini-Heavens and Hells on earth.  We know what it feels like when our head hits the pillow and we're truly happy in our hearts, grateful for the gifts that we didn't deserve that all seemed to fall into place, just for us, right in the moment, all in a days time.  Similarly, we know how devastating it feels when the worst of life's circumstances and the most tragic of times fall upon us and it's all we can do to pray for a new day wishing it all never happened.

These glimpses into pure joy and pure heartache remind us that we're mortal, that our time on earth is finite and that everything except for the relationships we nurture and cultivate is disposable.

And so, I started wondering, are the Heaven days just a perfect gift?  Nothing that we worked for or that we earned, just a nugget of joy to be enjoyed?

All the same, are the mini-Hell days given to us so that we might learn something through the pain and despair or are they equally as random with no larger, more profound life lesson attached?

If you don't believe in an afterlife, are these experiences or encounters on earth windows into the dichotomy that exists all around us?  Heaven/Hell...Good/Evil...Love/Hate...Joy/Sorrow.

I don't know.  I just know that it's easy to recall when you had the perfect day and when you had the farthest thing from it.  Moments of Heaven and Hell trapped within our limited understanding as we journey through this life.

So, as I ended my texts with her, here's to many more Heaven days and thicker skin to endure the Hell ones.


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