do not resuscitate

June 30th, 2024

My husband and I have been trying to muster the wherewithal to update our will and advance healthcare directives. Twenty-odd years ago, we sat down with an attorney friend and in one evening had the whole thing knocked out. That’s probably because we felt like we were still in the middle of life, where time seems suspended. That can happen with a young marriage, a new home, and a small child. The future was far off, and events that would happen there were just a fuzzy abstraction.

Not so now, for obvious reasons. Not so now at all.

Sometime in the last year my Zen teacher, who is a good twenty years older and infinitely wiser than I am, gave me new instructions for my meditation practice. “Keep your gaze focused on the horizon.” For me, this involved lifting my sights higher off the ground than I’d been used to. And at once, my view expanded and the horizon came closer. I likened the change to watching a sunset on the beach: we can’t take our eyes off of it. It’s instantly relaxing, absorbing, and quieting. Don’t we savor a sunset? The delicious array of color as the light scatters. A subtle cooling in the air. The slow encompassing of darkness. The indescribable beauty, the inexplicable magic, the doneness of it all.

That’s how I see my horizon now. As it shortens, it beckons as a raft to ride beyond the rising swell. I am less afraid of what lies over the edge of time. Trust me, I’m not hasty to leave. There is so much to do right now. I can’t hope to change the tragic and horrible course of ignoble human events, today in this country, in this world, borne of the deepest evil, hatred, greed, and insatiable corruption. But I will try. I will show up. I will support. I will give comfort and care. I will hold fast to goodness, kindness, gentleness, charity and love, as we must, bravely. My time is short, or shorter than it was — a comfort of sorts — but there is not a day to waste. There is not a day that doesn’t matter.

Photo by Jorge Fernández Salas on Unsplash



  1. Thank you. What wonderful advice, “Lift your eyes to the horizon.”

    Comment by Nedi — June 30, 2024 @ 3:00 pm

  2. Love it Maezen. As another older folk I can’t agree more.


    Comment by Munen — June 30, 2024 @ 4:17 pm

  3. Every gesture, big or small, can become a part of a greater avalanche of good. I need to believe this. If a swell is an increase of wave height from a distant shore, then surely we can envision a tsunami of goodwill flooding our collective conscience. Not just because we can. And not just because we should. But because there is a moral imperative to rise, rise, rise … my wave follows yours. My sense of you is that you are always circling back to push my wave forward. Thank you for that. And for this. And for you.

    Comment by Bonnie Rae — June 30, 2024 @ 6:38 pm

  4. I love you.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — June 30, 2024 @ 7:32 pm

  5. I’m fortunate that way*

    Comment by Bonnie Rae — July 5, 2024 @ 9:12 pm

  6. I am left puzzled by the idea that we can fight for love…
    Last week I wrote a goodbye note to my daughter’s teacher, I wrote that love is also showing up and going on and having faith. And I thanked him for the love he had given our child (and her class). I won’t fight for love but I will show the world I care for it, I will give it my love.
    Since a while now I paint. Where you place the horizon in a painting gives you a whole new perspective, literally.
    Much love.

    Comment by Simone — July 1, 2024 @ 12:45 am

  7. I am with you.

    Comment by Kaigen — July 1, 2024 @ 11:54 am

  8. […] Yes, yes there is: gaslighting.Betrayal, by definition, is an act of deliberate disloyalty. We see it (unfortunately) in friendships and business. It stands out, because by nature, betrayal is a rare unimaginable act. To watch it unfold in the highest court in the land is surreal. This is the stuff of a dystopian, alternate Universe.And yet here we are. Many have said all we can do is pray. Nope. We can do so much more. Vote. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Write letters, share your opinion. Stand up. Show up. Be counted. Educate yourself and others. What a great opportunity to know the who, what, why and how of this great democracy. Don’t wait for others.Make it personal and as my friend Maezen so elequently shared, “There is not a day to waste. There is not a day that doesn’t matter.” You can read her thoughts here. […]

    Pingback by Betrayal – In Search of the Very — July 2, 2024 @ 4:17 pm

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