May 22, 2014


I have imagined, often, what it must feel like, to die. Do I gradually lose awareness of my body, one part at a time and slip away? Do I become excruciatingly aware of it as the mind recedes and the life force that I am makes it's presence known? Is it painful? Is it relieving?

I do hope I will remember death clearly, though. At least this time. Unlike my birth, of which I have no memory, a memory lapse so acute that I believe I never really was born. Is that why I am not palpably aware of how easily I could die this very minute? People do it all the time.

In this sea of questions I bring up about death, I have never had any doubt about one thing; how much I look forward to it.

Imagine you have three days left to live. You are acutely aware of your every action, word, the grandeur of what is about to happen to you. In face of that magnanimity, details stop mattering to you. That guy on the road who leered at you, that pathetic little raise at work that is so demeaning, your spouse who keeps forgetting to put the toilet seat down, and your constant guilt about skipping gym.

Imagine that you have two days to live. Your conversations change from talking about people to talking to each other, from waiting for your turn to talk to becoming one big, personified ear that just, truly, listens. A lot of it revolves around gratitude and forgiveness, perhaps resulting in peals of laughter and tears you never thought you would shed. What you look for with every glance shifts; getting a window seat on a train ride home is more important than glaring at the person who stubbed your toe on their way out.

Imagine you have one day left to live. A great wall of quiet descends on you. You are here. You are now. Every breath is so important and you know, for the very first time - not because somebody told you or because you read it somewhere - but because it's happening to you right now - that this breath is what's connecting this whole universe in one continuous thread. Your thoughts are not scuttling like roaches anymore. There is, for the first time, a silence inside you, a silence so thick, you could slice it with a knife, like butter.

Unrelated, disconnected and unnecessary details recede into non-existence. That may probably explain why they say that the devil is in the detail. Because the details are where we get caught and the details are what convince us that it's normal to waste whatever precious time we may have here.

My home is this promise of death. This promise of closure is why I live my story. My journey may be important, but my destination, I truly, deeply desire. It is my rest, my solace. I have my home in this promise of death.