After Austen died, I discovered on his computer a collection of assorted writings from the last few years. His deep intelligence, mindfulness, and spirituality come through the words and sentences in those writings with beautiful clarity and vision. He was expressing his thoughts and feelings at a moment in time, urging himself on. I’d like to think he would not mind me sharing some of his words with you. The excerpt below is taken from a journal he kept during his last nine months, which he titled, “Journey Through Sobriety”:
“It’s so crazy how you walk through life bored and unimpressed, and then all of a sudden one day you see things for what they are and you can’t believe how beautiful everything is. You appreciate the sun and the clouds, the trees and the air they allow us to breathe. You realize that everything is actually connected in a real sense. I’d like to think you can never go back after coming to this conclusion, but that’s not true. That’s why you have to be in tune with who you are and the reality of existence. The universe has billions of galaxies. Here I am in just one of them, in just one solar system, on just one planet, revolving around just one star. Why waste time?”
Austen Berj Brooks, July 1, 2014
“Nice Day,” photo taken by Austen from the Lincoln Park Boardwalk in Chicago and posted on Instagram, Sunday, September 28, 2014.