Monday, July 15, 2019

Getting ready to go

Ecclesiastes 12, King James Version

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low; Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

Death is a dreadful subject, not in the sense of horrific but rather harrowing - quite simply distressful. As I begin packing for the anticipated voyage I am willingly abandoning whatever is superfluous, a transition frankly which is more than a bit relieving. As compelling as are the words of Ecclesiastes (or should I say Salomon), it is not the vanity of human life which distracts me. I've always considered the theme of punishment in Christianity curiously misplaced - though admittedly it is perhaps relatively easy for someone like I (who has suffered very little if not at all) to view life charitably. It surpasses even my most dynamic imagination to speculate that life after death is somehow better. This is not to suggest I haven't a very real sense of awe about the Universe; but likewise I'm willing to proclaim the wonder of life as I currently know it. To a degree I am more than prepared to acknowledge the serendipity of life in providing what amounts to a welcome exit; viz., "when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them". Admittedly this may prove to be a short-lived ardour when the moment of confrontation visits itself upon me. As yet however I have not fully resolved an enormous distinction between the perpetuity of humans over insects.

Perhaps it is in deference to my notorious affection for optimism that I continue "in the face of all odds" to proclaim my delight in life as I currently know it. Though it has taken me considerable time and effort to overcome the obstacles of my being - those petty preoccupations which upon analysis are so trifling - what remains on the doorstep of my existence is hugely meaningful.

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