To be told that a scene of mass death is the result of an accident or terrorism is to be given not only an explanation of the cause but also an idea of how to reckon with the consequence.
The postapocalyptic scenario—the future in which everyone’s a corpse (except you)—must be, at this point, one of the most thoroughly imagined fictions of the age.
Each of us is born with a series of built-in confusions that are probably somehow Darwinian. These are: (1) we’re central to the universe (that is, our personal story is the main and most interesting story, the only story, really); (2) we’re separate from the universe (there’s US and then, out there, all that other junk – dogs and swing-sets, and the State of Nebraska and low-hanging clouds and, you know, other people), and (3) we’re permanent (death is real, o.k., sure – for you, but not for me).
Anxiety about a specific symptom is more bearable and easier to rationalise than the diffuse ontological malaise that used to be known as spiritual despair. It is easier to say ‘my knee is killing me,’ because we know it isn’t, than to dwell in the belief that the clock is ticking and that the journey from birth to death is a journey to extinction; it is better to have a symptom than to have a void inside.
I know it would be a bummer to show 10,000 funerals in a summertime movie, but then maybe don’t kill 10,000 people while people are trying to have a good time?
Timepieces were formerly an apt reminder that your time on Earth grows shorter with each passing minute. Public clocks would be decorated with mottos such as ultima forsan (“perhaps the last” [hour]) or vulnerant omnes, ultima necat (“they all wound, and the last kills”).
All the time you spend tryin’ to get back what’s been took from you, more’s goin’ out the door.
I need to watch this movie again. Cf. F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.
A still from Holy Motors.
I like how they just casually mention loggers “killed by an out of control machine”. We know how this ends. Also, firefighters?
Over a third of firefighter deaths from 2011 were due to fires or explosions, but another quarter were because of transportation accidents.
“Cosmo’s got the caboose!”
The Deadliest Jobs In America, In One Graphic : Planet Money : NPR
After working with terminal patients for over 30 years, Dr. Byock recommends four simple expressions. “Please forgive me.” “I forgive you.” “Thank you.” “I love you.”
Filed under: death.
There is a line of Verlaine I will never remember
There is another street I can no longer walk down
There is a face in the mirror I have seen for the very last time
There is a door that is closed until the end of the world.
Among the books of my library (I am seeing them now)
There are some that will never be read.
This summer I will be fifty:
Death consumes me, constantly.
Image of Borges, Hôtel des Beaux Arts, Paris, by Pepe Fernández, 1969
Borges auto-reblog rule in effect.
The question arose as to what we would do differently if we were immortal. […] I answered that I would travel more. Later the question was asked, what would you do differently if you found out you had only a short time to live. I answered again that I would travel more. Click, buzz, whirr…does not compute, does not compute. […] Given that I would travel more if I was to live either less or more, the probability that I was at just that level of mortality that I should not be traveling now must be vanishingly small.