Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Accepting our mortality?

For some reason, I have always enjoyed this quotation. Do you?

"When you are seventy years old and look back at what your life has meant, you will not focus on your solo activities. What you will remember are the incidents of touching, those times when your life was enriched by a moment of sharing with a friend or loved one. It is our mutual awareness of this miracle called life that allows us to accept our mortality." - A. Clarke, G. Lee "Cradle"

I didn't know we had a choice.
I think some people, even most, might feel like that. But there are certainly people who enjoy being alone. I, at 40, look back on my individual accomplishments with a great deal of pride and happiness. Certainly the people in my life are wonderful, but I wouldn't say that they outshine my realtionship with myself - and God.
It is a touching quote, only it is hard to anticipate my own end-life philosophy from my position as a not-famous-wealthy-author perspective.
at seventy, i might not have enough braincells left to look back on anything.
This is my favorite. It runs through my little brain every time I come into contact with "intellectuals".

"You are old, Father William,' the young man said,
`And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head--
Do you think, at your age, it is right?'

`In my youth,' Father William replied to his son,
`I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."

Lewis Carroll had such insight into life the universe and everything.
It's a valid idea. I tend to remember events involving other people best.
Remembrances of times alone don't have as much impact on me although I generally spend alot of time alone.
A drama with many characters is more interesting than a monologue.
I have long believed that our "heaven" or "hell" lies in how we touched the physical world which we temporarily inhabit. That "world" can be one person or millions. When our spirits exit their mortal hosts, all that can be done, as a human, will be done. If one has done one's best, the spirit will be light.
I'm different. I'm a happily married family man in an upper-middle-class suburb, and my deepest wish is to wink out of existence without leaving a trace behind -- no memories, no history, no grieving relatives, no legacy of any kind. I'm only 50, but I'm done with life on this stupid rock.
t1eng sorry to hear at 50 you have no will to live, I wonder why??????? Myself lot older than you, and not ready to throw in the towel, I agree it is a stupid world, people blowing each other up for I haven't a clue. Pedaphiles killing children after raping them. Teenage punks with no respect who are allowed all kinds of freedom, such as blasting a god damn radio so loud it shake your house of car, and their is no law against it. lot s of crap going on but I live in my world its my wife, my dogs, my simple existence that I enjoy, I still like to eat, sleep , swim, walk dogs, read, surf internet. but everyone is different, I met a guy a few months ago and seen he was smoking I said you still smoke, not trying to be holier than thou, just thought it was dumb to smoke after fifty. He said I am 59 and don't care if I reach 60 and now think it was bravado, cavalier talk and when Mr. D. comes knocking he won't be so non chalante about it, but I think its better to ready to die than to be scared to death of it, no matter what your age, hope you can find a reason to want to live, seek it.
life is too sweet unless someone is very ill,to take for granted or not care. learn to enjoy the little things.
My first thought when I read it was to wonder if the author had the authority to make such a statement. Quick fact check, and I find that Arthur Clark was 71 when Cradle was published. Yep, he gets to say that. I'll take his word for it.

Still, if I make it to 70, I hope I'm not sitting around looking for meaning in my life. I'm hope my thoughts are more along the lines of, "I think I'll buy a bigger sailboat this summer".
The quote is right for people with compassion. Their last thoughts will be of small incidents in life that have somehow stuck with them & they will all be of others.
The uncompassionate people will be revelling in thoughts of themselves & their exploits.
I hate to sound gushy, I just believe this to be true.
It is almost the same as one of my favorite quotes...
"At the end your your life it won't be the things you did that you regret but the things you didn't do"
At seventy on my death bed, there won't be anything but life's loves, & loves lost. They will all be people & dogs.
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