into the nighttime
of the day
for the final
They say that we get new cells all the time, cells that replace the old ones. If you think about it, you might say that we are not the same person as the one we were a couple of years ago… literally. This might explain why I am more scared in an airplane these days than I was before. Where I live now they have a tiny airport with tiny airplanes that fit a few dozen people. It’s on an island and it is almost always windy here so especially while landing, and the pilot tells you it’s going to be a rough landing, it is kind of nerve-wracking, the plane shakes and wobbles, seems to go sideways through the landing strip but finally smacks on the ground and roars its engines like it wants to shake of all its anger and comes to a safe stop. You don’t forget does landings and the only thing that keeps you seemingly cool is the knowledge that these planes landed thousands and thousands of times without accidents and that there is no reason that that statistic would change this time. But I never cared about these things before. As a marine I flew in helicopters dozens of times and I jumped out of tiny planes as a skydiver for a whole summer without fear. It’s just something I noticed lately, people say it’s because you are getting older, that you are closer to death and I guess its proximity supposed to scare you senseless. But I think It’s because I’m not the same person any more than when I jumped out of those airplanes 20 years ago, and that is probably literally true.
Today we had a nice landing.
At the end of your life you look back.
We often think, as people, that life is endless. The days flow together, in a week, a month and before you know it, ten years. Looking at it like this, there seems to be no end and you take your time for granted. But the reality is, of course, very different. What is life more than a memory. You have an experience, process it with your biases, your colors, and archive it. Later you open the drawer with the memories in it and put on your glasses containing new life lessons, convictions, and experiences, and use them to look at those old times. That’s our life, colored memories, strung to each other like a web spun from old desires, dreams and stale air anchored to those sparse, valuable moments that make it all worthwhile. Life viewed like this is a construction and time plays a small role in it. This web is two dimensional, seen from the side it’s a few moments thick. All these ambiguous memories and old stories are not as important as those lasting once. Those lasting moments often fit in a few beats of your heart, so in the time you have left, you can still fit, worth a lifetime of new valuable ones.
I try to imagine what I would feel like if the doctor told me that I would die within the next few weeks. The best way to find this out is probably to delve into your own experiences, looking for something with a similar impact, and how you dealt with it in the past?
When your car breaks down after you hit something in the middle of the night. When the apple was rotten, and you needed it for that recipe. When your lover cheated on you, or your grandmother died. In all these cases you were probably shocked at first, out of breath, felt helpless, or empty. If you have been through these experiences several times you might power on immediately after the initial shock, and if it is your first time it could slow you down to a standstill, unable to think or act. But can you compare the loss of a lover or death of a friend with the message that you soon are going to die?