Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Death and Life

While the world is catching pokemon in Pokemon Go, I'm thinking about my recently deceased uncle; uncle Ted.

I didn't know him well, but my dad always enjoyed his visits. Through my dad, I mourn the loss of my uncle, because to lose a brother is painful.

I am separate from my brothers now, and I'd hate to see one go. As we get older, death will creep all of us. And when one does, it means I'm not far from ending my life either. My dad already wrote on Facebook, "see you soon brother".

I wonder what that feels like. When you know your time is up. It's probably like the rest of us, we fool ourselves into thinking death doesn't exist most of the time, but then in moments of contemplation, when something in life gives us pause, we realize. And then we ask, what have we done? And the answer: nothing. And then we ask, what could we do differently? And the answer: nothing.

Some people fight the notion of death by really DOING something, and DOING something means finding something others regard as impressive. It means making your mark. But this is fooling yourself. And then you get upset when someone calls into question your DOING of something, because they're trying to take away all you have, your fantasy.

Tolstoy's book, A Confession left an impression on me. It asks, "Is there any meaning in my life that the inevitable death awaiting me does not destroy?" For most of us the thing we do that will last longest past our deaths will be our kids, but they'll end too. In a couple generation, your mark will fade and fade, until it can't be seen.

So my dad will leave us soon. And I will be the generation after that. I think that as he nears the end he grows aggravated and depressed over how he has done things. He didn't hold relationships well. He has done things that he regrets.

I don't think I'm going to be like that. I've thought hard and honestly about what's right. I've rejected what everyone around me thought was acceptable, and accepted what everyone around me rejected. Because the truth doesn't change. I don't think I would have accepted slavery 200 years ago. And I don't accept political authority now. I try very hard to debunk my strongest beliefs, because I don't want social beliefs, or expressive beliefs, or beliefs that make me feel good. I want true beliefs. And for some reason, when I think about life and about death, I feel okay because my beliefs are the way they are. My mind isn't fragmented into a lot of little parts based on a dozen different labels I want to adhere to. It's all one, and it works together, and when I find a shard that doesn't fit, I discard it so I can keep feeling whole.