Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Worrying Begins

One marker that I am not yet convinced I am really about to travel is that I have not worried about dying until today. Whenever I go on a long trip, the likelihood of a crazed gunman, or more likely a crazed driver, taking me and/or the whole family off the planet seems high.

When I actually do die, if I have a moment to realize it beforehand I will likely be struck but poignancy of having forseen it. This will be a lie, because I have been forseeing my death for over 40 years now. I have not surpassed my mother-in-law's record, however. She was sure she would die before 35, and even picked out a second wife for her husband so she would know her children were being brought up by someone good. I think she turns 85 this year. Or 86. I've got a long way to go to catch her, anyway.

I like poignancy. It has a literary, narrative feel to it. I suspect that Christians, or theists of any stripe, are particularly prone to believing they will be given some premonition, like Caedmon being told beforehand of his death so he could make sure all his forgiveness accounts (both giving and receiving) were topped up. But these ironies seldom play out in real life. Something goes wrong and then your dead, so others impose extra meaning on your last few acts, reading the entrails of that goat.

Don't work too hard on this. I have four sons. That's my epitaph.

Aren't you glad you stopped by for a grouchy old guy to cheer you up?

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