hey johnnice to meet you.
i don't think that's imposing, although i'm not sure what will suffice as an answer...
i didn't know john particularly well, although i met him on several occasions and enjoyed his company greatly. i have friends who experienced his death as the loss of a close personal friend so i guess i want to choose my words carefully out of sensitivity to their loss. i have many more friends, who, like me encountered him mostly through his public speaking and through his writing. our conversations continue to be punctuated with recollections of his humour as much as his deep wisdom - and i love that he is remembered by us with laughter.
for me his legacy is in his words. he lives on them. and it is in the lives of those he has touched and will continue to touch through his words. and i guess i see his great gift as being able to so poetically communicate the wonder of being alive. without ever shirking from the acknowledgment of pain and loneliness, he taught me a lot about being rooted in the world...
the importance of remembering that one comes from the earth and one returns to the earth and that the time we get in between should, if we can, be spent in wonder...that part of being fully alive is to be able to breathe in the wind, or stand on the shore, or look into the face of another, or indeed into the mirror, and exclaim, "this being human is a marvellous experience, isn't it?" to be open to the world, willing to embrace it. to be present to it and to oneself in it.
i've learnt from him that what matters to me most is to have a rich experience of life. john described death as being like walking on a cliff edge. you don't know how far you are from the edge. so drink it in while you're here. seek beauty in all things and all people. that heart that is open will be broken by pain for sure, but the joy that comes with being open to the world, that's the measure of a heart that is truly alive.
as i step out of a dark period, i find it is that wonder i want to find blossoming in me again.
sorry that was a rambling answer. i hope something in that was adequate.
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