Johnny & June: How We Give

“Good Morning. Are you here to make a donation?” the anatomical gift giver asks, quietly.

“I’m here to donate my body,” the elderly gentleman in the chair replies.

I am silenced.

I am reading a love letter Johnny Cash wrote to June, on her birthday, in 1994:


They died four months apart, in 2003. I wonder if their organs were donated, and if the recipient magically awoke learning to play guitar, my guess is no,

but maybe.

This intersects with the pulsing of a text, asking how I define clear goals and vision for myself, as someone I love is struggling with that. I am staring love in the face, listening to an old man asking if his organs can be used, while giving advice to someone who is planning her future.

I listen, and look, and feel, the past, the present, and the future, tied up with a pretty little bow, laid in knots across my bare hands- huh.

What to do next? I finish reading Johnny’s love letter, and another one, which was written after the death of June.

His last performance before his death, Johnny told the audience, “The spirit of June Carter overshadows me tonight with the love she had for me and the love I have for her.

We connect somewhere between here and Heaven. She came down for a short visit, I guess, from heaven

to visit with me tonight to give me inspiration and courage

like she always has.”

I text my friend back. “The purpose of life is to give away your gifts. To better the whole of humanity, and to stay true to your light, not to shy away from it. To figure out how to give it away.”

It feels like freedom, like kites in the wind. Years in a job that wasn’t right for me, months spent searching for another one, and later, excitement upon learning the new role. Home energy, like a bubble bath set for you by a lover, like sinking into the warmth and the surrounding feelings of blissful, peaceful, grounded energy, ahhh.

Like, home- that’s how it feels, warmth, inclusion, hearts sharing a pleasurable space, lucky to be here.

Johnny wrote to June, “But once in a while, I like to meditate on it, and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met.” Her love for him, his love for her, haunting beyond time and space, linked their destinies.

Next to me, deafeningly, the emptiness, seeing as the man has removed himself from the chair, he’s gone.

We give ourselves away, in bits, as we course through this life. We shake hands, remember faces, please others with our laugh, soaking it in when someone gives us a compliment or shares the name of a song we may like.

We make donations in the name of science, to educate future doctors, long after our souls have moved on. Why do we give? Giving ourselves is how we feel home- it’s the purpose of life, the way our legacy lives beyond the shadow of our bodies.

Giving: Blood donations. Offers to babysit. A lap to sit on, and hugs. A hand to hold when a dog is put down. A song shared on the radio, diaphragms expanding beyond belted seats in a moving vehicle as we sing out loud, joy. Each single moment we are given was a gift to us, always has been.

It is up to you how to decide how to share the gifts you’ve been given with others. Use your soul like a sail to guide your life’s ship, traveling on your journey, in love. Trust your inner, innate wisdom. Always accept  what’s been given, receive it openly then give on to another, and to yourself.

Her love’s open and wide to you, take it. Thank your mother, call a friend, stretch to the ceiling and bow down to your downward dog, your upward rising. Get in touch with your inner healing heart,

try a new challenge, go on a new adventure. Reflect on loves lost and gained, witness all that’s through and through, what’s happened and what is to be. And, if, at the end of your life,

you’ve found a love like Johnny & June, pray that maybe someday, somewhere,

someone is inspired enough by your journey to share it on the internet, and give on to others.

Water given away is given back in rain. Let it pour!

Good luck.


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