The Big One
From ‘la petite mort’ to The Big One…
Three musings on death…
1. In our communities of origin we were raised to believe that this life is a short dream and reality happens in some inaccessible future, with death merely the opening of the eyes, the move from sleep to wake (cue Abie Rotenberg: “..for in the distance there’s a place, where we’ll stand up tall and straight, oh I believe, there is a world to come… – why is this shit not on youtube yet???)
For those of us who no longer believe in an afterlife, death and its consequences can be a new exciting and terrifying boundary on reality. How does the finality of this version of death change the quality of our life?
For me, having a child is one way I deal with my new appreciation for my mortality. Knowing my DNA and my memory, will (hopefully) live on after I do in this person, is a comfort for my new awareness of the coming end of it all.
2. A long time ago, I wrote in an online forum, that after I died, I wanted all of my secrets to be told and all of my most explicit art and writing to be made public. A friend challenged me – why was I waiting for my death for this?
Can the courage of death be borrowed in life?
3. As I consider these ideas in the context of my life and my friends’ lives, I can’t help but think about all of the raised white lines that travel across the wrists and arms of our peers, mementoes of flirtations with death. For some of us, as we travel from the life we have always know to a new life, death waits on the bridge between the two, tempting us to halt our journeys.
But (ironically) unlike the fairy tales of our childhood, where the story that approaching death meant the start of a new life, a better life, was only a myth, only a fable, in our journeys, with death beckoning too soon, if we can only ignore his call, and keep on traveling, we can actually find a garden of Eden in the world to come.Printable Version