A small piece of the thoughts that never leave me lonely.
|I say it has to end. The same way it began. Well, different a little. The same in reverse. Instead of being born you’re being dead. As a baby breathes his first breath into the world, you’re taking your first unbreath into a vast unknowingness. It’s easy to say dying is like being born. The trick is figuring exactly how the baby feels being born. Do you remember? It may have been a very painful experience indeed. And how strange and different it must have felt to breathe in deeply and expand your lungs for the first time. I can imagine a baby in great despair, finally realizing what it means to be alive and knowing he’s trapped inside this fragile body for the rest of his life. I heard once that angels envy us for that breath of life. Perhaps they’re weighed down much like the foreboding deceptions of man, how the grass is always greener on the other side; water purer on the other shore; the sunset more spectacular beyond the horizon afar, beyond the vast ocean. Death hanging over all of our vague, invisible lives, and the angels want that? They think it some great honor to be fearful for one’s life, to hide in one’s self in hopes to avoid the pains of death? Perhaps they envy us because they truly know. There may be nothing to fear. If ever they be granted the gift of life, they will most surely forget and fear all the same. So maybe that’s where we come in. Angels, envying man, being granted the gift of life, and here we are, completely naïve to the after life. God has blinded man and has made him fearful of his own fate. But He didn’t stop at that. He placed into our minds the idea of a separation after death according to the way we lived our lives; a Heaven and a Hell. I deeply feel that this is misdirection, a feeble deception. Not entirely mind you, but to have in one corner of the universe a burning furnace where all the sinners are cast, and in the other a golden city opening its gates to the holy just seems a product of someone’s flawed and lacking imagination. Or perhaps the idea has just grown old and unimaginative, and now the time has come for a brand new version of the afterlife. No, I’m not here to write a science fiction novel on the afterlife in a secret hope to get a vast following of supporters and make myself a prophet, a leader of the lost and forgotten. I, however, am taking this time to put down deep thoughts ravaging my brain. I can’t imagine passing without leaving a document bearing my name and my words for all the next generations to read and contemplate, to forget and to discard, and to get back to their steady business of dying. How do we forget so easily? We go about our daily lives playing games, laughing and jibing, being serious, rebellious, loving, hating, lying, working, and forgetting, forgetting that you could be dead. No, you WILL be dead. And I find it strikingly ridiculous when a dying man asks for one more sunrise, one more day to enjoy, to relax, to make everything right. What about yesterday? There was surely a sunrise yesterday. Why didn’t you do all that YESTERDAY?! But you were too caught up in living. It would be too much to ask, I know it, to treat every sunrise like your last.
Once in a while I’ll hold back a few minutes, eyes to the east, and enjoy the splendors of the sky breaking into a brand new day and feeling breathless and very much alive. The grand splendorous display will rapidly subside into normality, into a regular rhythm of paying bills, putting food on the table, of struggling to take one deep breath at a time to get through to the next beautiful sunrise. There has to be more to life than this. There has to be...