One of the very first things a friend of mine liked to quote me on ad nauseam for years from the very early days of my skydiving career was that I reportedly had said that my goal was to becone a world champion. He was true. I had said just that. I had 15 jumps, or so. And I was hooked. Hooked on a feeling, I guess. It had slipped out a few years after I had said something else to my brother. Something I doubt that he remember, now. When I said it, we where both sort of joking, something we’ve always done. Perhaps one more than the other. But what I had said was that if I ever was found dead, and it looked like a suicide, it wasn’t. Same here, he had said. Jokingly. I guess I have always been more of a contemplater, beneath the mask. A brooder. A ruminator. A ponderer. Like so many more of us. While keeping up appearances. As we’re all expected to do, I guess. More or less.. Behind a smile. Well, today I learned that an old skydiving friend, a hero, a world champion nonetheless, one who had reached his skydiving goals where I failed miserably, was finally done struggling with his life. Some of us struggle more with that, with life, and with the trying of living it, than others. Especially on the inside, perhaps. In us. And the sadness of seeing his picture today, at the top back then, back when, knowing what I know now, so little, struck. Hard. And deep. And I remembered my … promise … to my older brother from our earlier days of trying to live life. Ours. And I said, to myself, today, that the door out, the door that at times are a more real and present option out than at other times, is a door that will remain open, for now, as it has been for very long, but I will not walk thru it today just as I have not walked through it any other day. Perhaps tomorrow, but not today.
Especially not today.