I came upon this in Ray Bradbury’s book Somewhere a Band is Playing, and it struck me that there I was raising Lazarus, just as he stated in his book. I could see him, hear him, his words swam, circled, soared. I was riding a Pegasus. Visions came, lessons too.
"The great ‘medicine’,” he wrote, “was finding that we were alive and loving it. We have celebrated every day of our lives. The celebration, the exhilaration, of worshipping the gift, has kept us young. Does that sound impossible? By simply knowing you’re alive and looking at the sun and enjoying the weather and speaking it every moment of your existence, this ensures our longevity.”
I know someone such as he is describing. She is 92 with a phone message that says, “I may be here or I may be out in the Universe having fun.” It’s hard to get her on the phone for normally she is out in the Universe having fun. She takes painting lessons, and has a weekly movie date day, and walks her dog, and drives her car.
I think of a story I read told by Deepak Chopra. A man wanted a son more than anything. God gave him two choices: one the son would be healthy but not too bright. The other, a bright son, but the son would die on his 21st birthday.
He took the bright son.
He never told the son about the agreement with God. One the son’s 21st birthday the father told his son to stay by his side, but in fairy tale fashion, the father was called away for a few moments.
The son, as was his honor to do so, went to the church to thank God for his life. Unbeknownst to him the angel of death was behind him and ready to throw a noose that would snare him and thus take him to the other side. As the angel threw the noose, the son bowed, thanking God for his life. The noose feel upon his back and slipped off. In that manner, thanking God for his life, the son cheated death.
And the people in Bradbury’s story, with their celebration of life, stayed young.
And children sit by on the stone floor
And draw out their lives in the sand.
Remembering deaths that won’t happen
In futures unseen in far lands.
Somewhere a band is playing
Where the moon never sets in the sky
And nobody sleeps in the summer
And nobody puts down to die;