jusummerhayes

Facing up to our mortality

“We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.” ― Charles Bukowski

I'm awake — it's 5am. Coffee poured. And I'm sat at my desk poised to write this post.

And then it strikes me: the above heading.

Do I ignore it and move on to something else?

*pauses*

No.

Here goes.

The Buk quote (as always) is deliberate. It could easily be a metaphor for my life and, I suspect, yours. That might mean we live or at least try to live purposeful lives. We seldom do — sorry. 

Of course, that's conjecture on my part but playing by the extant narrative doesn't seem to be working judging by the state of the world — and I extend my gaze well beyond the deleterious state of the planet. 

GUILTY AS CHARGED.

And?

Indeed.

What changes are we encouraged to or are making?

None, or not so you'd notice.

You might say, understandably, there's nothing trivial nor wanton about working hard to secure the best job possible, and working your butt off to make it and your life a success. And I understand that: my parents did, and I'm well on my way to doing the same! Scrap the success bit. Hanging in there would be a more apt position.

But, really, is that the best we've got, knowing, in particular, we've got one life and it's ending one day at a time?

In my case, the answer is a resounding no.

And that explains, at least in part, my restlessness. Sure, it might be easy to dismiss it as nothing more than dissatisfaction — and that's in the mix — but I've this powerful, almost overwhelming need to find a bright spot in my life (or, perhaps, let it find me) so that I don't feel, as has so often been the case, that I've wasted vast chunks of my life doing something denuded of soul.

To be clear, when I've talked about being consumed by our passion/s, nearly always I've been met by the starving artist trope. My answer has always been the same: 

"Yes, so what?"

But of course, no one really wants to starve — Bukowski I'm sure didn't enjoy the experience — but then again, if there was a radical acceptance of death, would we still treat life so lightly, or at least in a way where, at best, it's a compromise?

I don't know.

Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not suggesting that you throw everything away and start again, but, at the very least, we might consider what it means to treat every day as if it were our last rather than having that as another natty catchphrase or screensaver. 

In my case, having stood on the precipice looking out over my field of dreams, I do know that things like blogging and spending time with my wife and children, is a blessing and never, ever to be taken for granted. 

I could say the same about many things but gratitude, again, is so much more than a word.

Have a wonderful day.

Ju.

PS. The storm hasn't completely blown itself out but it's a little better than yesterday. As the song goes, it won't be long before I'm singing: "Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's home from work we go". 😂

Photo by Isai Ramos on Unsplash

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