“A life oriented to leisure is in the end a life oriented to death— the greatest leisure of all.”
-Kenneth Lamott

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to take James Fitzgerald’s spot on stage. I had two days to craft an hour presentation on Male Health – with slides. I hate slides. They are a lecturer’s wheel chair and they make me angry inside. If a professor or “teacher” reads off slides. Don’t pay. Don’t go.

Now all the content for this presentation lives in the digital confines of the chapters and folders underneath my tarnished keys. Thus, the material had to be maneuvered in a way that physiology, neuroendocrinology, and statistics turned into theatre. Taking left brain concepts and making it a right brain activity to keep listeners engaged and participating. This is extremely fun, but stressful and time consuming as well. BUT, what better gift than a hard deadline to organize your thoughts. A little drive to wake you up early and pound the keys. A healthy dose of gasoline on the fire. The gust of flames may singe your eyebrows, but they’ll grow back.

Anytime you have to hack away at material it makes you better and benefits others. When you take hundreds of pages and thousands upon thousands of words and turn them into 39 slides only ever using pictures and one sentence quotations per slide you learn what is really important.

That is how I feel it will be like when we die. A mirage of 39 slides, all images. Millions of minutes condensed into the enduring moments of our lives. Friends smiling. Accomplishments won through strife. Images of performing a common deed well or lending a helping hand. Vivid. Happy. Content.

Or it could be a torment of doors never opened. Of years on a couch. Of arguments never resolved. Of sad faces too worn to cry.

Or it could just be an end. A black screen and a cold box.

Say yes to the first and if the ending comes without an applause at least you know you got there on your own terms and maybe you will hear the faintest rise of hands clapping as the door softly shuts.

There were two slides I didn’t get to yesterday and they were the most important. The people that made all this possible (and there are many others). Thank you.

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