I’m a mean hard bastard.
I’ve been that way all my life. Which is why I find myself in this very strange place.
I feel like my world is slipping away.
It was David Bowie’s passing that popped the bubble for me. Or maybe it was a combination of seeing Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek Into Darkness and Bowie’s passing that managed to pound through my defenses.
These entertainers are people I’ve never met, so it shouldn’t be personal. But they are touchstones in my life. Their loss is a sign of unrelenting change.
I heard the strains of Space Oddity on the radio this morning and was suddenly singing along & crying. It was weird.
Unintentionally, I started tallying the losses in my personal life.
I’ve seen my share of death. In the ‘80s and ‘90s the tally increased weekly. After a while I stopped going to funerals. It wasn’t because I didn’t care about or want to remember those folks. It was that I couldn’t bear any more losses.
Time is catching up with me.
I know in the not too distant future I’m going to have to bear more losses. The numbers are probably going to increase faster too.
Folks in my family are getting up there in years. I have friends who aren’t in the best of health and while I love them, time and distance have made us into very different people.
You see, time takes its toll on relationships too.
Why am I crying? Even hard assed warriors cry. I’m not ashamed of my tears.
The catalyst of music or movie is one thing, that’s the trigger. What is the underlying cause of my tears right now?
Is it that I’m not as good as surfing the winds of change as I once was? Is it sadness that some days I feel like a dinosaur watching the last sunset? Is it fear of being left all alone?
I know these feelings aren’t unique.
There are books and plays, movies and TV shows that have explored these feelings.
Dracula, Dr. Who, and at least one book by Heinlein pop into my head instantly. These stories ask the question:
If you could be immortal would you?
Could you bear the mounting losses while continuing to walk endlessly into the future?
How long before the transient nature of life made you a monster, disconnected from all the things that make us human? Would you, after a few hundred years, stop being human because you can no longer keep count of those you’ve loved and lost.
How long until the voices, faces and lives become background noise, and your interaction with them is limited to nothing more than furthering your agenda? You agenda would likely become an agenda, the normal lived couldn’t see and one in which their life or death is but a drip from a leaky faucet.
Perhaps it’s normal to think of these things at points in your life. We know we’re mortal, we know we’ll end.
Maybe the lesson is to just cry.
Maybe from time to time, we should let it all out, not hold anything back, and don’t dwell on it.
When our tears have finished, then we’re supposed to pick up the less brittle pieces of ourselves and move on with grace earned by our successes, failures, and even our tallied losses from years of living.
Like everyone else, I’m clueless. I can tell you this;
Time keeps moving on and so probably should we.