Wednesday, March 22, 2006

More navel gazing

Perhaps as my blog entries grow more sparse they will correspondingly grow more precious. That seems unlikely.

I haven’t had as much time this month as I would’ve liked to discuss death. I guess that’s okay. Some day I’ll have nothing to contemplate but death. – when I’m dead. Or perhaps that’s not right. Perhaps when I’m dead, the only thing I’ll be able to contemplate will be life, what’s gone and irretrievable, etc. That contemplation will in itself be a contemplation of death, I guess. But that can’t be right. Just as with life, there will probably be days during my eternity of death—or at least moments—when I’ll just be living in the moment, so to speak, and contemplating the deathness of death.

I guess the difference is that, with life, the thing is bounded by and literally defined by its oppositional state. Death, however, is that endless sea in which we exist (or don’t) outside of life. Or maybe death is similarly bounded by life. Maybe it’s that thing that can only come into being through life and is defined as the state of coming after that other thing.

Or maybe life doesn’t matter in death, because we’re dead and we don’t exist and don’t remember or worry about anything. Or maybe when we’re dead all we do is painfully relive every moment of life, over and over, probably in front of some sort of judging and vengeful audience. Maybe we’ll have to hear our own annoying voices again, as on an answering machine or camcorder tape, making mistakes, lying, sounding idiotic. Perhaps we'll be forced to read our blog entries again and again. Or maybe the gruesome and embarrassing details of our lives will be cut and pasted together to torment us with dreams that will teach us lessons about ourselves – forever.

Or maybe there’s a large sorting machine that is powered by some kind of infernal brimstone-smelling steam
with lots of steel rollers, rubber conveyor belts, and metal slots, which will take us (whatever we have become), weigh our general goodness or badness against some stainless steel moral measure and sort us accordingly for recycling back into the world of the living -- as a moth, a jaguar, a soccer prodigy, or a flu virus.

Or perhaps everything just stops: the chemical energy of the mind stops running across the wires of the nervous system and becomes inert and things fall apart. The memories evaporate as the molecular structures in which they are stored collapse and our matter is transformed into other states of life or nonlife. Because matter cannot disappear, the material of our memories will still exist, just in some other molecular form, in a beetle’s wing, a morning haze, or an infant’s toenail.

But anyway, I’ll have a few more things to say about death before March goes out like a lamb.

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