Thursday, August 23

The 'D' word

Ok. So tonight, in order to cheer myself up after a night at work until TEN O'CLOCK I would like to talk about the 'D' word.....


I normally rein in my proclivity for discussing this subject with all but my oldest and closest friends who kindly 'indulge' me as I am aware from years of experience that as soon as I open up the 'D'iscussion, most people explode with 'Oh God, Natalie. Stop being so bloody morbid... JESUS!'... or something along those lines anyway. Because speaking of death is apparently morbid. Most people I have come across think seem to think so anyway and immediately because of this 'morbidity' close the shutters on any conversation on the topic.

I find this frustrating, a wee bit bizarre and strangely amusing. It seems so incongruous. We all all going to die. We are all "marching towards" at all points in our life. Life is a progresion towards death. There is very few things so certain in life as death. Or change that. There is NOTHING so certain in life as death.

If this thing or state of being, if you can call it that, is something that so profoundly touches all of us - why don't we discuss it. It's at minimum the one fact we can all agree on and own a common interest in.

I understand the fear factor, Christ. I'm petrified of It. Samuel Beckett encapsulated my personal fear of the reality of death to a tea...

``Instead of zero it may be some ghastly hallucination, such as the square root of minus one.''

But that's just me :)

With all fears, at least, so the shrinks would have us believe, the only way to deny it of its power is to face it. If we all discussed It more freely and with the truthfulness that you can't deny It, It could seem less... well... petrifying.

I think, the closer you get to death, the more willing you seem to be to talk about it. You hear old people lamenting their death and discussing their wills etc. with sense of almost glee sometimes. I wonder if it's a relief at finally being able to approach the subject. Maybe this reveals that what people are really doing is living in a state of denial for the majority of their years. Denying that they are going to die and it's only as you get older that the reality of it simply can't be avoided or you begin to embrace the freedom that acknowledging It can bring. I must say, I do think there are huge benefits to be had from reminding oneself that you are going to die on a quite regualar basis. Sincerely! It reminds me to be happy and joyous and to become aware of my existence. You can only appreciate life if you are conscious of your own existence within it.

It's all too easy to trudge through town on a grey rain day, bemoaning the dull sky and the cold and wetness. Next time you are doing this, try remembering that one day you won't be around to experience the cold and the rain. You remember that right now, you are alive! Then the rain becomes something to enjoy. So what if the sky is grey, it's the "o'er hanging firmament" that is our constant companion through life. In these moods I actually put my umbrella DOWN, slow my walk, HOPE the maximum amount of rain hits my face and delight in the wetter I get. If I arrive piss-wet through back at the office, I'm pretty chuffed. I aim for the biggest puddles I can find and jump in them. It's so liberating and infantile and FUN and this kind of random, uninititiated joy from the mundane can so simply be brought about by mulling on the frailty of our being and the short span we have alive.

(As a general rule actually, I find people far to averse to rain. It was in India that I discovered the only way to respond to rain is to revel in a down pour. In Indian monsoon season, you can't escape from the rain no matter what you do or how many umbrellas you carry - it comes UP as well as down.... the only option was to greet it and get about your business alongside it. It's far more relaxing to uncover yourself, hold your head up into it and have foolish fun than bury your head in the pavement, shrug your shoulders and hurry scowled-faced back to the office. You can be sure you'll arrive in the office with a laugh on your lips.)