Learning from life

A year ago my friend, choreographer, and fellow dancer John Munger passed away. I wrote about it last year, which you can read here, or watch the memorial video created by James Peitzman here.

Mosquito dance ARDC

John and I dancing “Mosquito” with the American Russian Dance Company at the Festival of Nations

I’ve thought about John a lot this past year. Moments of missing him. Thoughts about his embracing life with joy, excitement, and frustration. Thinking about his perspective on life and the zeal with which he always ensured dance was part of that life. And thinking about the fact that life comes to an end for all of us, and there will be a moment when we are the ones that others are reflecting on. Thinking about what we said we wanted, what we did, and whether we were happy.

Odd as this may be, today feels like a good day for me to say thank you to the people in my life who have passed away in the past few years. To the ones I knew well enough that I feel like I can have the above thoughts without being a superficial jerk, but instead learning from them – their joy of life, their dreams both realized and unfulfilled, and for sharing their lives with other people. With me.

I always selfishly want everyone I care about to be around forever, but even when they are gone, I am grateful. I am grateful for the remnants of them in my heart, my soul, and my mind as I make decisions about my life. And I know that they continue in similar and different ways for other people.

Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes learning from life is even harder. And I’m grateful that others have shared their lives with me so I can try to learn from them, too.



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