The road ahead

Last night I wrote two e-mails to the same two friends. The first was at 9:06 p.m.:

Since late afternoon, after returning from the treatment, I’ve been extremely weak, weaker than I’ve ever been in my life. I can’t do anything. In my whole life, I have never felt that I was at all close to death. But now I feel that I’m at least somewhat close to death. Let’s hope this passes. But the way I feel now is that the body does not have enough energy to keep living. I feel the body is shutting down.

Again, I hope and expect that this will pass, but I wanted you to know now.

The second e-mail was at 3:47 a.m.

Lying in bed, I just recited Yeats’s “Easter 1916,” the whole thing, in a low voice, but with energy and strong interpretation. So I guess I’m not near death yet. A pretty appropriate choice for a poem, since I seem to have my own “terrible beauty” being born.

Achilleus says in his speech to Odysseus in Book IX of the Iliad, “I carry two sorts of destiny to the day of my death.” That seems to be true of me too. One possible path for me is the peaceful, happy opening-up to death and the beyond that I’ve glimpsed and have been writing about at VFR. The other possibility is a process of endless, ever increasing discomfort, misery, and torture.

But perhaps they are not two alternative experiences. Perhaps I will undergo—and am undergoing—both.

- end of initial entry -

Dean Ericson writes:

If you have the peaceful, happy opening-up kind of death you’ll be glad to go. And if you have discomfort, misery, and torture then you’ll be doubly glad to go. But I don’t think you’re ready to go yet. You’re still having fun. And you haven’t heard all the Mozart string duos, trios, quartets, and quintets yet.

And then there’s the Beethoven string quartets. A man can’t die before giving them a complete listen, too. So there’s work to be done yet on earth for you— don’t go slipping off quite yet.

Terry Morris writes:

Your words make me feel as though I’ve never really contemplated my own mortality in an honest way; they make me feel as though I’m reading the thoughts of a prisoner of war, both during a session of torture, and afterward when relative comfort returns. Does this make any sense?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 21, 2013 08:37 AM | Send

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