Carpe Aeternum

Finding the Eternal in the Every Day

Archive for the tag “alive”

Brad Bellmore Gets a Life – 19

So the theme of my blog has been rebutted. Well, not directly. Last Sunday’s Hagar mocks my running commentary. In the strip, Hagar decides that he is going to squeeze more out of life. He is really going to live until he dies. And Lucky Eddie responds with “Doesn’t everyone do that?”
It’s a great joke. The reality is that we all do live until we die. It’s kind of self-evident. Talking about it seems moot.
But my rants here and what Hagar is on about is the quality of life, the deliberateness of our living. How much effort do we put into trying to live? How much do we let life just slip past us?
I think the movie poster from Braveheart sums up my sentiment better than anything. Way back in the day, when you walked into a theater, there was Gibson as William Wallace, kilted and armed and the lines, “All men die, Very few truly live.” That tagline grabbed me when I first saw it and I still love it. Even though it wasn’t what drove the inception of this blog, it is underneath it all, part of the foundation of this movement in my life.
I want to truly live while I can. I hope to inspire the same in those around me. Yes, we all will live until we die, but how deliberate will we be about using that time we’re alive?

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Brad Bellmore Gets a Life – 6

Donald Miller decided that he needed to live a better story in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. I agreed with him when I read that book. I wanted, and still want, a better story. Most of the story since then has been quite depressing and I would much rather portray it as montage and then move on with the time of growth and renewal on the other side.
But that would be a pretty lousy story. Delving into the full depth of the depression wouldn’t be that fun either, but there is story there and glimmers of hope. Eventually the darkness thinned and I fund myself walking in brighter times again.
I recently pondered my desire to live a better story and realized that I should have expected that though. Or something like that. The downside that is, the depression, the unemployment, the hard times. After all, any story worth telling has something go wrong pretty early on. Typically other stuff will continue to go wrong to aggravate the situation. Deliberately pursuing story is to pursue things going wrong. Which doesn’t seem so wise.
Where I want to get to though is those places in life where I can deliberate choose risk, to find things that take a little risk, a little faith and carries a chance of failure. Or things not turning out perfect. Because sometimes simply taking a risk provides enough of a story to tell. It might not be as good as the story of rising from destitution or a scrape with death, but taking a chance at something is being more alive than avoiding those situations all together.
So I am seeking out some small challenges and risks to try, things to get me used to being alive again. Some things that give me enough of a thrill of risk that I can remember how living like that used to feel. I need something to build my faith a little and get me hungry for being alive again.

Brad Bellmore Gets a Life – 3

As I’ve written here before, I once was known for being resilient, tenacious and persevering. Somewhere along the way, that ceased to be true. I’ve given up and grown old – just like in the Weezer song. How did I get here?
I’m not really sure. I know there have been some small decisions along the way that I’m aware. Perhaps there are hundreds of them. To my recollection, there was no big decision to become like this. I always enjoyed being alive. I always longed for the fuller, richer life experiences. Just somewhere along the way I quit embracing the discomfort and hard work associated with those.
I didn’t get lazy as much as complacent. The cost of doing something exciting or adventurous didn’t appeal any more. I knew that on the other side, the payoff would be worth it. I just didn’t want to change what I was doing to accommodate it. I wanted what I had more than the new experience.
As that happened, I forgot how to fight, how to struggle for what I want. I got in the rut and stayed there because it didn’t seem worth the effort to climb out. And now that I have travelled a long way in the rut, I am trying to figure out how I got where I am. The truth is, where else would I be if I refused to deliberately change course?
So, I begin the scramble. I am climbing out of my rut. I’ve been trying to for over a year now and have yet to succeed. That’s not completely true. I haven’t succeeded in escaping my rut, but I discovered the joy of the struggle again – at least a little bit. Even simple little choices like engaging in aerobic exercise and seeing the workout through to the end have invigorated parts of me that have lay dormant for far too long. I am discovering how to persevere again, even if only on a small scale. The hardness of changing my life starts to appeal to me. It in itself is an adventure. And I’m beginning to crave it. I will somehow get a life.
And as the line states at the end of the most recent film of Peter Pan “To live would be an awfully big adventure.”

Brad Bellmore Get’s a Life – 2

Donald Miller is one of my favorite authors and with the soon to be released movie of Blue Like Jazz, I have been pondering his influence on my life. That book made me rethink many of my perceptions on Christianity. He made me consider what am I really believing in and find a way to connect my faith to my life.
To Own a Dragon, his take growing up without a father. To him, a father was as mythical a creature as a dragon. This book connected with a lot of my thoughts and feelings of growing up without a father, some of which I did not even know I had until I had kids.
Another challenge to my faith and why I believe what I believe was Searching for God Knows What. It even challenged me to think about how I express what I believe.
But, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years pushed me farther than any of the others. The basic idea of this book revolves around Don realizing that he wants to write a better story for his life. This is actually spawned by the process of creating the movie mentioned above. Anyway, it resonated with me when I read it given that my life is rather a rambling mess than a cohesive story. I felt inspired at the time to make some changes. That was short lived, mostly because the various waves of depression stemming from unemployment plowed that inspiration deep into the dirt.
But now, as I ponder how I learn to live, to truly be alive for whatever is left of my life, the movie surfaces and stokes again the fires of creating a better story. Which is what I hope to do here, both explore the process and tell the story.
And so, I set forth in quest for a life worth living and a story worth telling.

Brad Bellmore Gets a Life

I was out to breakfast with a friend of mine who said, “I mean, I just turned forty. I just want to live. You know, to be alive.” That struck me. Back in college I had friend that always greeted me with, ”Are you livin’ life?” The sad part is that I have had seasons when I have lived life but for the most part I have failed at it. I have ridden the winds like a leaf, floating wherever I was carried.
My career path hasn’t really been a path but more of a meandering. Mostly again, taking the next appealing thing or at times the least unappealing thing that paid me. I have never done a job that I loved. There have always been aspects that I loved, but not the job. This became painfully clear in the midst of my unemployment. I had no direction. I had no purpose. I needed a focus and the determination to follow that purpose.
You see, I had dreams. I was going to be a writer. A famous, rich, acclaimed writer. I have written but the dream has never been realized. The largest portion of that failure is my fault. Lack of consistent production of writing. Not being deliberate about pursuing publication.
And I think that is the biggest thing of it all. I have larger failed to be deliberate. My life has been lived like a rover that never really roved. I haven’t wandered the world to learn the mysteries or find the adventures. I have larger just been. Unfortunately that isn’t even in the good sense of being like a Buddhist might inspire me to pursue. This is not a good being because I haven’t even found the living of being in simplicity and finding myself. In fact I probably have done more losing of myself than anything.
So now, before I get too much older, I am trying to be deliberate about living. Perhaps this is my midlife crisis. Perhaps this is my coming awake. Perhaps this is me finally living a story worth telling.
Perhaps it is only the flavor of the month. I’m hoping that it’s not. I’m hoping it is the beginning of something long lasting. I’m hoping that I am finally getting a life.

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