Beginnings and endings


October 3, 1980


Endings, like beginnings, are very difficult for me.

The end of this page or relationship or even the day that settles into darkness and my eyes struggle to stay open, I fight for each moment of consciousness as if afterwards there is nothing left but ashes and silent prayer, and the uncomfortable cough of an audience dressed in black.

Beginnings are just as bad, coming with the starched shirts and sterile instruments that surgeons face before taking the deep plunge, smiling over me or some other poor victim assuring us that we shall live a full and happy life.

It took me eleven hours to come into this world, my mother pushing while I gripped her insides so I didnít have to arrived, learning early the habits of a street protestor the police have to drag off to jail.

Indeed, birth is a death sentence, irregardless of how we paint it with good wishes, and life is a jail cell we ache to but at the same time, dread to escape.

Jung better than Freud understood how we all live our lives in dread of the inevitable, and we count out our sentence in birthdays as if somehow that is some positive progression when it is merely the running down of a clock.

So we engage in silly speculation about immortality Ė youth serums or religious faith, or the pseudo science of freezing such as Disney did, hoping some future discovery of a questionable mankind can resurrect us Ė a cheap trick version of what many religious people believe, manís hand serving as Godís hand.

Sociology tells us religion is simply an excuse for death, an effort to justify on existence on this earth, a tool used to teach us how we ought to live our lives when without faith, we would run amuck and do exactly what we want to whom we want, fearing no retribution except that which we all face.

Many do not believe God exists, although admit we needed to invent one in order to keep our worst habits at bay.

Einstein that all things are relative, particularly time, and for me, time passes at a different rate than the clock or calendar tells us it does Ė even thought the space between each click is exactly the same.

I live my life in changing seasons, and feel them acutely against my skin like cold wind or heated sunlight, knowing that behind them the clock ticks out the more precise distance between birth and death.

We have thousands of myths to tell us that there is something beyond, and suggests we have real purpose on this earth, and ties something fundamental inside of us to the changes that go on without, and for some reason, I feel tied to each of these, feeling a full life time pass with each passing year, born in with the crisp chill of early winter to rise up in spring, flourish in Summer and to fade again in fall.

Perhaps it is wisest to live life this way, to be born, live and die a hundred times rather than to count down the long passage to the one death from which we do not rise again, and thus we manage to fight for each precious moment, to suffer through birth and learn from it, and appreciate the rest and come to the fall knowing that we can do it all over again, and do it better the next time. Perhaps it is unwise to cling too hard at the start, spending not merely 11 hours clutching what we know, but a life time, than it is to let go, the flow in and out of birth and death, learning from each, finding peace with the idea that when the time comes, we might well be prepared for a new and unexpected birth we cannot see in advance, in some new and perhaps better world where there is a God or someone like him, and there is a new beginning that may not have a death sentence attached to its end.


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