Friday, October 5, 2007

the inevitable but not to be morose

we can cheat taxes or at least some people can but we can't cheat death. we can add a little to life perhaps by attitude, diet and exercise and of course not forgetting to drink plenty of water. but if we know it is coming why are we so surprised when it happens. my younger brother died in august. he was ill so we knew it was coming. and now he has a chance to get another body and try again according to some philosophy's and religions. and according to others, he is simply in a better place. i think he has a chance at a better body and i will see him again some time. but in either case, i find it curious that it is so hard for us to value the moment and i find it curious that it is so hard for most people to live as if this is the last moment of your life in a positive way and not a negative and hedonistic way. and perhaps most curious is how people can live as if the extinction of life will not come.
in the mean time, think i will do my best to enjoy life.

1 comment:

igaff said...


we were talking a lot about death, and booya, another Chuck Klosterman book, 'Killing yourself to Live', said some good stuff.

The book is about Chuck going across the nation to different places in which famous musicians died. In taking this trip, he discusses his own life and how he views his death.

"Anytime I'm in a foreign place with lots of strangers who all share an identical(yet completely unrelated) purpose, I start to think I am in purgatory. For as long as I can remember, I've had this theory, because life on Earth seems to have all the purgatorial qualities that were once described to me by nuns. It's almost like we're all Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense, but nobody on "earth" has figured it out yet, even though it will suddenly seem obvious in the end. Sometimes I think that the amount of time you live on earth is just an inverse reflection of how good you were in a previous existence; for example, infants who die from SIDS were actually great people when they were alive "for real", so they get to go to heaven after a mere five minutes here in purgatory... This becomes increasingly clear in an airport. It is like a warehouse full of dead people rushing around from gate to gate to gate that they will, if they are lucky, die in a plane crash and leave the purgatory hell that is the airport."

I really, really adhere to this idea. I believe myself to be somewhat of an existentialist, and I believe that the intention of life is to suck, but that's ok... For instance, the world is created with such beauty surrounding it, from sunsets to autumn leaves to (insert dream vacation beach). But, as finite mortal, we cannot control any of this type of natural beauty. And, even if we could, we will not have the luxury of experiencing it for all this it is worth because it will ultimately out live us. On the other hand, things that are in our realm of influence are usually subject to manipulation. The purity of a lake created by a dam manipulates the natural flow of erosion and could potentially backfire (this is a subpar example, but go with me here). But, what I am really trying to get at is I view life as a series of trials and tribulations complete with never ending adversity. No matter what, something, somewhere, is prepared to ruin your day. Overcoming that is your little slice of heaven. But rest assured, the purgatory will not back down.

He goes on to say that; "if I knew I was going to die at a specific moment in the future, it would be nice to be able to controal what song I was listening to; this is why I always bring my I-pod on airplanes." Again, I like this (in a biased sense because I am terrified of flying) because it goes into the questioned I had about if a person knew they would die tomorrow, how would they spend today? And, with that knowledge of 'the last day' in their head, why not live that way everyday? Why be concerned with working a part time job you hate, why yell at your wife because you can't pay your taxes, why sit at home and watch 10 hours of hungover football? And, I think it's because those are immediate concerns and desires. No one wants to think it's their last day on earth because then they will worry that their life was unfulfilled. However, living as if it was in fact the last day of your life - everyday! - would promote a satisfying existence without regret.

Then, I told you I was obsessed with my own death, Klosterman brought something up I had never admitted to doing. I, and he, are constantly considering what my own funeral would be like. I don't want to die, but I envision my death, my funeral, who would show up, who wouldn't, why, who would make the phone tree for notification, who I would haunt if I had the option. I always thought of this kind of thinking (dreaming mainly... some of the more vivid dreams I have) as being extrodinarily vain. But, I don't dive into content of ulogies (which is where I would tell myself that I am cool I suppose), instead I recount my failures, my actual death and what my headstone oneliner would state. For instance, last night (sunday, oct. 28) I dreamt a funeral scene again and my headstone read; "died alone watching football". I spent all of sunday in my house, watching football, screening phone calls, and for no reason. I wasn't depressed, I was just being lazy.

My final thing is, reading about death, thinking about death, always leads to my consideration of the negative, rarely ever the positive. The only true time I think about things I have accomplished come when I am extremely depressed and I need to let myself know I don't suck. But, I usually only think about death when I am in a moderate to good mood. It motivates me to right wrongs or to be better, but, I also think it keeps me from truly enjoying a moment for an extended period of time, and it keeps me from thinking in the long term; because it almost forces me to focus on the here and now. So, the way I feel, is that I am in a state of purgatory, willingly and in full acceptance of it.