This year, like so many, I have attended funerals and celebrations of life, (some virtual, some in person). And as always I leave wondering what people might say about me at my death, or if anyone will notice. Or worse, will people only remember that I was always trying to lose a few pounds. I do not expect to leave a legacy, or even a significant mark on the world, but I would love to know that I at least left a colorful smudge.
How do I accomplish leaving a brilliant shadow when so much time has passed? For so many years I had to hide some of my wildness behind a sheen of professionalism to build security. I honestly do not know if people will remember me as compassionate or loving or memorable in a positive way. I was not larger than life, or passionately involved with changing the world, or trained to save lives. And I fear that my quiet good deeds are forgotten and acts of courage have faded into mist.
But I have not yet faded away or turned to rust, and still have words to write and speak, stories to tell, and fires to light. And that is how I hope I am remembered, as one who ignites flames of inspiration, who crosses narrow bridges, and always finds a way out of the darkness. With any luck I will be remembered as person who inspired and encouraged and believed in those around me.
Or perhaps I will leave this world with a whisper of laughter on the wind. Not a memory or a story, but a haunting melody enticing people to approach life with a sense of wonder. Like a wickedly loving spirit that leans over your shoulder and says “there is always a way,” seducing you into your own life. Just like the voices that have always called to me.