Tool For Tuesday: Today is a Room That Has Never Been Entered Before

This tool for Tuesday has to do with death. It has to do with life.

My friend, Anne, sent me (via her daughter) a link to an inspirational piece by Roger Ebert, about dying. He quoted Vincent van Gogh, who wrote:

“Looking at the stars always makes me dream, as simply as I dream over the black dots representing towns and villages on a map.

Why, I ask myself, shouldn’t the shining dots of the sky be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France?

Just as we take a train to get to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to reach a star. We cannot get to a star while we are alive any more than we can take the train when we are dead. So to me it seems possible that cholera, tuberculosis and cancer are the celestial means of locomotion. Just as steamboats, buses and railways are the terrestrial means.”

Death is a room we’ve yet to enter and so is today. Today is a new room. We use terrestrial means to move our bodies around while our souls can be (have to be) celestial.

We open the door to this brand new day and think, Wow. What can I do with this new room? How will I decorate it? What furniture and paint (thoughts and feelings) will I put into it? Use that decorating metaphor throughout the day to be aware of yourself. What are you doing in the room of today?

We can transform ourselves by seeing our lives as an adventure, like a journey to a distant star. We can find something in the day to be grateful for. So far, the special perks of today include seeing a stormy sea, white waves spraying against gray rocks, the smell of coffee and the fact that I’m still alive and healthy. What about your day? What are you doing with your room?

Tool for Tuesday: Today Is a Room That Has Never Been Entered Before

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About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is a writer living in northern Israel whose novel, A Remarkable Kindness, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in August. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, and other publications. Her first book, The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker) was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award.
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2 Responses to Tool For Tuesday: Today is a Room That Has Never Been Entered Before

  1. The new day/new room is an exceptional way to view our lives, isn’t it? And to image cancer or car accidents or even homicidal maniacs as the celestial means of reaching our stars is a profound way to view death. Another helpful blog, Diana.

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