Monday, March 9, 2015

Contrary Old Nature Consuming Me

Salvete, quicumque legātis -

The one thing we know the Universe likes is friction. Collisions, mutations, heat, stress, movement of life, consumption of life by life - it seems to me the broad essential link is movement and conflict, whether it's at the sub-microscopic levels of nuclear particles, or among the rude little multicellular animals in a scummy pool, or between technologically endowed nations or movements throwing terror at each other, or in the collisions of asteroids, or in the super-nuclear super-heating of ineffably massive stars. Even light, as a body, collides and warms.

Speaking of mutation: According to my doctors, I've been visited by a nasty variety of it - squamous cell cancer. I have just turned 60 and now - bang - Nature plays the cancer card. More to come in terms of medical imaging and medical guesswork and treatment. The timing, of course, is less than ideal. A very bad way to begin Lunar New Year.

Once again - just as when I went to pieces in 2006, and then when someone near and dear to us ruined our finances that same year - events are crowding us out. My kids are still trying to find their niches in the new Republican slave economy, trying to become self-sufficient! I'm not expecting, at this point, that I will ever see my grandchildren. My 85-year-old mother (God keep her!) will quite possibly outlast me!

Still, what can you do? Death will come; it will take each down to dissolution. I have no particular fear of death, but I do have a lurking horror of the pain and suffering that may precede it. The final suffering will most likely be horribly intense and lonely, but I shan't dwell on that. That's all in the future, and beyond my control. (After all, I can hardly conjure up my death throes and tell them, "No; not that way! I won't have it!")

What is, after all, our one sure goal in life? Not conscious, not chosen, but entirely assured? Our death. Each man's arc of life ends up there, sooner or later, but assuredly. It's as natural as our facility of movement, our impulses, as universal as germination and birth.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Couple of Quotes

A couple of quotes from browsing today: 

This quote is one that we should all bear in mind - especially 'believers' who have not yet gone hardcore.  This is what we're seeing (along with a bloody sort of political theatre) with ISIS/ISIL in Iraq:

"... religious violence seldom limits itself to one target and expands to reach the maximum number of available victims."

(from 'The First Victims of the First Crusade', Feb 13, 2015 - by Susan Jacoby (New York Times)

On other topics, from Orson Welles:

"We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone."
And another:

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story."