Friday, January 30, 2015

Looking down



I'm not sure if the average bloke is too focused on what he leaves behind. He knows the tide will cover over his footprints within the hour and eventually his path through the quagmire of life will be forgotten. Sure, people might remember where he came from and some significant events along the way, but for the most part, each footstep is filled with silt and awaits the next generation to make their temporary mark.
The old man is, at this stage, focused on the next step. One at a time he nervously puts one foot in front of the other, tests the ground cautiously, supports himself with his cane and advances another metre or so. He's not in a rush any more. There is no point to that. The faster he gets there the sooner comes the end. At some point he stops. Where does he look? He looks down at his feet. For him, the most important part of the journey now is, as it surely always should have been, where he stands now. The past has gone and the future doesn't exist. He can feel the soft sand between his toes and the water on his feet. He doesn't need to know about what happened or what will happen.
Its why old blokes look down.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Remains


Christine pointed out to me that it's not so much what follows for us but what we leave behind for others to cherish that counts in death. All of us will come to an end, be it brief or long lasting. What we leave behind isn't so much material. Its a conversation between friends, a tear from a loved one, a laugh from a friend, a question from a child.
"Where has great grand dad gone?"
"He's dead".
"I keep hearing him"
"We all do. It's our memories of him".
"Will he go away?"
"I'm afraid not. His memories are part of all of us now"
"Which part?"
"The smelly bits"
"He did smell funny, didn't he?"
"He smells worse now".

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A final hurrah.



If anything, a cremation should be proof enough that there isn't anything after life. Like a cigarette isn't a cigarette after someone has smoked it, there is no evidence of humanity after the coals have cooled and the smoke has dissipated other than the coughing and wheezing as a result of the onlookers breathing in the fumes.
"Well, he's gone"I hear someone call.
"Up in smoke" another onlooker adds, causing a slight snigger to shimmer across the noisy crowd.
"Lunch is ready"someone yells. Only I can see the humor in that. I'm tempted to laugh out loud but I'm just a tourist and not invited to lunch. My offerings will be prepared by the chef down the road. Chicken I hope.
It's rather refreshing to see such joy in death, such completeness and finality. No-one starts again nor does any of us take over where another left off. If we want to celebrate anything, it's the simple refreshing act of living and dying. 
Who's next?