One Rant at a Time

Whatever heaves into view........better keep its head down.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Great Gig In The Sky


It's part of the human condition. We all, whether we like it or not, gotta go sometime. Most of us, I suspect, would like to go while we were asleep, not feeling, not thinking, just.....whisked off without knowing it. No clue, hint or advance warning.

A good friend of mine has just been diagnosed with cancer. She's an immensely lively, funny, intelligent woman, a loving mother, with a huge amount of talent and a lot to do and say for herself.

And right in the midst of this huge life happening at 100 mph, she's suddenly spied a set of flashing lights in her rear-view mirror.

What happens when you see those lights? What do you think when out of the blue, your life's highway seems to be shortening a lot faster than you expected?

Now, many of us are the architects of our own downfall. I smoke, I drink, I gave up drugs years ago because they didn't agree with me, I have a middling diet, I don't do much in the way of exercise and over the years my jobs have given me more than my fair share of stress. So, if ever I get to see those police lights in my own rear-view mirror, I'm going to know who to blame.

But in a sense all that's academic when you're faced with your own mortality. You forget the contributing factors because by then it's too late to regret them. You can't sit there and curse each and every last cigarette you smoked, or each drink you had. You can't even curse yourself because that's been taken care of already too.

Many people face up to their illnesses with bravery and determination: they face up to their enemy, they look it in the eye and they say "The hell with you, I'll go when I'm good and ready and not a second before." Others seem to shrink before your eyes as they lose faith in themselves and all around them.

I don't suppose there is a right or wrong way to go about facing up to your own mortality. In a sense, we all do it every day from the moment we wake up. If you're a hypochondriac like me, you're particularly sensitive to your body and the signals it gives out, and you spend time on high alert. And if you're young and healthy you don't give it much thought at all.

I think what all this is winding towards saying is that we take a great deal for granted. I don't often see my children between Sunday night and Friday evening, but I always take it for granted that I'll be seeing them in a few days. In the past, when I've been single, I've always taken it for granted that I'll meet someone, someday.

But we really can't do that, can we?


At 5:05 PM, Blogger Evil Minx said...

Beautifully put, Londinium. As you always do.

Linkage forthcoming, anything you write is worth linking...


At 12:24 AM, Blogger Minerva said...

Oh god....
I can't say anything..through the tears...

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

i am diabetic. have been for the past orty eight years. no big deal as it is the least of conditions and if handled well you live a good life.
a diabetics life expectancy is 25% less than your average persons.
i doubt very much that i will make old bones.
one of the side effects of being diabetic is the insidous way it attacks 'things'. eyes. (i have the laser beam blasts to prevent retinopathy). erectile disfunction (i can always pop a few viagra if and when). loss of sensation (i'm damn good at picking up and holding hot objects). heart disease. last year i had a minor heart attack. the first real sign that this 'punk' ain't gonna live forever.
fuck it.
'hope i die before i get old'
i will miss the kids and my wife though and the one thing that my heart attack taught me is this . . .
live life NOW!!!!
love them all NOW!!!!
fuck tomorrow. live NOW!!!!


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