Ephemeral Everything

Coming off of good food, abundant wine, a birthday celebration (not mine), wondering why it is that living in the world is so difficult for many of us, so painful.

I should start off by saying that I didn’t experience much of that pain tonight; chopping, cooking, cleaning up; a lot of bending down to wipe up the floor–I tend to be a very fast cook, who both creates and cleans up a fair amount of overflow in a small and somewhat rudimentary kitchen (hey, this is New York City!  Counter space costs!)

Engagement is a great anodyne; busy-ness, work.  The problem one bumps into as one grows older, the wall one bangs one’s head against, is the knowledge that all this really does end sometime.  When young, most of us are insulated from that sense of fragility.  Except for those times that we are being melodramatic (and possibly manipulative), we don’t even truly believe that thwarted lives are possible for us, much less no life at all.   But as we age, we become conscious that people not only take wrong turns, they come to shocking terminal stops.   We actually know people, or at least know of people, whose lives are suddenly cut short, people for whom the question of whether they had the life they wanted is almost insulting, because they are fighting so hard for any life at all.We have a terrifying sense, as we age, that loss is not only possible, but inevitable.

Our culture tries very hard to insulate us from this knowledge.  Some seem to have a belief that the only thing Western medicine cannot save them from is malpractice.

I tell myself that the knowledge of life’s eventual loss should be energizing, activating.  (All that carpe diem business.)  Unfortunately, instead of listening to that kind of archetypical wisdom,  I  tend to be influenced by a guy I heard yelling out to his friend in a New York City parking garage.  “Hey you, come on!  Life’s too short to enjoy it!”

I would post a poem on this subject, but my computer has recently joined the ranks of the ephemeral.  (Perhaps I should say–the ranks of “no longer even ephemeral”.)  Accordingly, all previously written poems are now in a kind of digital purgatory.  Here’s hoping they will be released soon.

Explore posts in the same categories: Stress, Uncategorized

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