Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Time of Our Lives - 1

As Time flies by—The years. 

My father died when he was my age, should have  lived another decade. Heart attack. Maybe good he left a bit early. Maybe there was nothing left for him to do. He had physically run out of things to do, things that he was capable of doing. I remember us in the back yard, him with a slingshot, trying to pull the rubber back. “Can’t even do this,” he told me . . . weakened by time, and hard work—blue collar. I remember my last visit, in their garden. I was pulling weeds. My dad, of course, had to help. I couldn’t stop him . . . would have been an insult. He knelt down facing me, pulled a few weeds, the stopped for a moment as if frozen. “Wait,” he says. With dog-like devotion I stay put, no questions. I say nothing as he gets some pills from a container in his pocket . . . takes one.  We kneel in silence, still for thirty heart beats. Then he moves again.
            “That nitro,” he says. “Good stuff.”
            Not a good sign. I’m not sure that one day he decided not to take the pill, let the heart attack do its thing to him, in the garage, by his workbench and tools of use for the time that was left. Also had emphysema—welder, thirty years.
            I think there was never a time that you or I or any of us did not exist. In past and future. I am not the first to say this, but if you believe, perhaps it’s time to think about what’s really going on. I think about it . . . sometimes, and made some modest efforts these last more than forty years. Means nothing of course, but when we shed the body. What is left? A lot of theories on that subject. Many answers. There might be a place some Buddhists speak of—Timeless Awareness. A primordial space where sound does not  exist, nor sight, or time and distance. Words as well—no more. All that gets left with the skin. And what are we now? With all these senses gone, somehow there is awareness of our selves . . . beyond thought. Beyond words, which make it very hard to describe. To describe it would be to disprove its existence.
            We spend our lifetimes thinking, about things.  To not-think, that’s the trick. We are bombarded by thoughts. They never stop . . . inspired by things, experience. There’s so much going on. Our work and wives and children, houses and TV—the obvious. There are few days I don’t spent at least a couple hours watching TV shows that slightly irritate me. Incredible ads . . . condoms and dildos and Viagra . . . erectisizers—drugs that make one hard as steel. Be a real man, we are told. Be all that you can be. A lot of magic lose-fat ads, machines and programs . . . guaranteed.  More advertisement time than movie minutes. Crime shows and cartoons. Why am I here?

            I'm rambling. Nothing more to do this rainy afternoon.

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