This is a story on how to live life. Really balls-out. Regardless what anyone else thinks or says. It comes from Laurie Anderson, long-time lover and widow of Lou Reed. She was accepting his induction as a solo artist into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. Lou died from liver cancer in 2013. I prefer to say he “crossed over.” Not because it sounds prettier and nice. But because, for me, it rings true.
Laurie shared, I mean really shared, the man she’d loved over twenty-plus years. Dying in her arms in the warm sunlight, she described the love he took with him, the wonder and joy on his face. It was one of those weirdly surreal, out-of-body moments that transcend our limited thinking about life and death, our existence and the meaning of it all. And we can only know those moments when they happen—to us.
Something else Laurie said has haunted me like a catchy song lyric that gets stuck in your brain, and spins. It was Laurie and Lou’s three rules to life:
“Don’t be afraid of anyone.”
“Get a really good bullshit detector and learn how to use it.”
“Be really, really tender.”
Thanks Laurie and Lou; those are damn good rules. Reminds me what matters most, and who I really want to be in this body—not some imitation designed to please or pretend what I’m not—but the real-deal reason of why I came here in the first place.