THERE’S A WEIGHT TO ALL OF THIS, to being so close to death so unexpectedly, that in terms of the absolute value of experience is far beyond anything that I’ve experienced so far in my life. It out-joys the most profound happiness, it out-hurts the most intense pain; it’s simply bigger and heavier than anything and everything else that’s come before it.
And it is just that absolute value– the distance between the intensity of this experience and the dullness of everyday mundanity (with no reference to its positive or negativeness)– that makes me almost enjoy it. You almost become addicted to it, in the sense that you could never go back to feeling the way you used to about the world before everything around you was framed in terms of The Ultimate of Ultimates. Like tasting ice cream once and never having it again, you’d always know that there’s something bigger lurking that puts everything else you previously knew and typically experience to shame.
And in this case that “it” is death. The ultimate trivialiser, which creates a prism through which all my senses, both physical and emotional, must now pass through. I can no longer love, without thinking about loving no more. I can no longer taste, without thinking about tasting no more. I can no longer say, or see, or feel, without knowing that all of those sensations may be the very last instance of each.
The incessant profundity in that– the immense weight now attached to just going out for a walk (because you might never come back) or saying goodbye to a friend (because you may never see them again) or listening to a song (you get the idea)… it’s indellible. Inescapable.
And, ultimately, so unrelentingly interesting. Thank god, that to me all of this is so interesting. Because otherwise it’s just suffering. Because suffering is a perpetual stain on the ease of normal experience. And a stain, by definition, ruins. It detracts. It makes partial or lesser something that was once perfect and whole.
But if you’re able (or even better, naturally inclined) to see a stain not as a mistake, but as an aberration, a difference from the norm yes, but not necessarily a negative one… if you’re able to see that even a stain has its own inherent qualities, and perhaps even its own potential for beauty, then there can be meaning in suffering. There can be beauty in death.
And sometimes– in fact, for me oftentimes– there is exactly that.
For example: I am nothing if not lucky that my brain is wired in such a way that it can be fascinated by the very thing that is attempting to destroy it.
Imagine that. There is, very clearly, a profound beauty in that.
I can see it.