Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Pride is wasted on Death

A Fragment of Seneca Translated

After Death nothing is, and nothing, death,
The utmost limit of a gasp of breath.
Let the ambitious zealot lay aside
His hopes of heaven, whose faith is but his pride;
Let slavish souls lay by their fear
Nor be concerned which way nor where
After this life they shall be hurled.
Dead, we become the lumber of the world,
And to that mass of matter shall be swept
Where things destroyed with things unborn are kept.
Devouring time swallows us whole.
Impartial death confounds body and soul.
For Hell and the foul fiend that rules
God's everlasting fiery jails
(Devised by rogues, dreaded by fools),
With his grim, grisly dog that keeps the door,
Are senseless stories, idle tales,
Dreams, whimsey's, and no more.

John Wilmot

eh Trikki?
A Fragment of Seneca Translated

After Death nothing is, and nothing, death,
The utmost limit of a gasp of breath.
Let the ambitious zealot lay aside
His hopes of heaven, whose faith is but his pride;
Let slavish souls lay by their fear
Nor be concerned which way nor where
After this life they shall be hurled.
Dead, we become the lumber of the world,
And to that mass of matter shall be swept
Where things destroyed with things unborn are kept.
Devouring time swallows us whole.
Impartial death confounds body and soul.
For Hell and the foul fiend that rules
God's everlasting fiery jails
(Devised by rogues, dreaded by fools),
With his grim, grisly dog that keeps the door,
Are senseless stories, idle tales,
Dreams, whimsey's, and no more.

John Wilmot

eh Trikki?

Monday, May 15, 2006

For the record

DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.

From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.

Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

John Donne

Thursday, April 27, 2006

'PROUD' will be a matter of circumstance and timing.

Since most people don't have much control over the situation in which they 'go', whether it is a proud moment or not depends on very much on what you're up to at the time. Sure, many of the situations that result in death are those same ones that we'd rather not be seen doing and therefore death is often not proud.

Given the choice, gee...burning up on re-entry; scuba-diving and not coming back to the surface when the air's finished; asphyxiation; flying a 747 into whatever they build at ground zero? There are so many options, how does one choose. I occasionally thought of the good music, good medicine, a hot bath and neat tubes running from my arms and legs, carrying my life cleanly through that mysterious little over-flow hole. If I believed in reincarnation I'd experiment with many different ways and write a book - one chapter per life.

I like Stuart's idea of having lots of other people's time and money spent on the occassion and if the right people read my 747 comment perhaps thats going to be the one. But, since I believe it only happens once so I'll opt for something more self-indulgent and a less re-assuring of my significance. I don't want to be one of a mass of martyrs either. Could fear of commitment and indecision be what are keeping me alive? Or is it that I believe that this is the only life I have, no reincarnation, no afterlife, so no matter what it is, its the only chance I have to experience this planet and all of the other little ants on it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Fight or flight

It's easy for me to say, and believe, that I would fight to stay alive if I knew I was dying. I'm sitting here in a comfortable chair and not feeling any pain.

When I was twenty-two, I went into the hospital to have a brain tumor surgically removed. I'd been living with it, and enduring pain, for years. By the time I went onto the table, and felt them popping the anesthesia into my spine, I was so tired I didn't care if I woke up or not.

When I did wake up, I woke up without any fear of death. I don't know why. I felt like I had a brief experience with not existing, and realized that it was kind of nice in its own way. It wasn't painful. And it wasn't boring.

I do still have fears... and dangerous situations are still scary. But I don't fear death anymore - I don't fear not existing. I think it's because I can imagine what it's like now. I expect it will be fairly comfortable.

The transition, however... the letting go. The trading of life for death, that's still a slightly scary notion to me. If I could choose, I think I'd choose to go on drugs as well. Mushrooms and Morphine (or, even better, Stadol), in a forest meadow on a warm autumn day, surrounded by impossibly bright colors, beneath a parade of clouds, all of which look like types of animals.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Ok, so I was sulking...

...wouldn't you? I just realised that not everyone on this blog actually know me, so I'd like to apologise for calling ALL of you wimps...

Fact remains... and it's quite an ironic one... that not so long after I joined this blog, I was diagnosed with a rare type of cervical cancer, and even writing it here feels kinda weird because I know how weird it is for people dealing with other people who have (semi)terminal diseases such as this. I'm not writing any of this for sympathy or empathy or any effect at all, I'm just writing because this is what I would have done even if I wasn't sick. In a way I guess I'm hoping to get a 'normal' or 'honest' response from people in cyberspace, because I don't get it in physical interaction. And of course because we were on the topic to start with... although, not many of us for that matter... what's the matter? Why have only so few people contributed?

It might seem a little morbid to try and entice you all to contribute to this topic in spite of your not having done so before, but I'm going to try anyway. It just seems such a serendipitous event, the existence of this blog (well, for me anyway), that I would be foolish to not respond to it. SO, I'd really LOVE to hear (without ruining the comical angle one is prone to take) what your take is on dying. More precisely, if you KNEW you were going to die, how would you choose for it to happen? What would the things be that you'd do once you knew? Would you fight to stay put and why? I'd really love to know your take on it...

:)
Mikki

Thursday, August 11, 2005

You are all a bunch of WIMPS!

It's been FOUR MONTHS since I've been here, and almost two since I heard that I've probably been moved to the front of the cue on this particular subject we're discussing... and what, not even one comment??? Don't you all think that the deafening silence is somehow more bizarre than whatever your first thought was? Like maybe "Damn Mikki, what bloody diet have you been on??", or maybe "It's been a total pain in the ass knowing you, but it looks like we might not be tortured for much longer..." or maybe "yeah baby, are you trikki enough to get out of this one?" or even better "Where can I get the morphine from?" That's what I wanna know. Now please, don't you all scurry for my ashes ok?
:P

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Fantasy vs Reality

OK, if we're going for the fantasy death (and this might sound completely and utterly sad, mad or utterly ridiculous) I'd love to go out in a manner that suggested I'd died, but in fact I'd just evolved to a higher plane of existence and reappeared as a huge glowing angelic being that would quite frankly leave everyone awe stricken - for about a second anyway, til some other fucker worked out how to do it as well.

If I'm being realistic in my fantasy death it'd probably be the completely dull and prosaic dying in my sleep an old and content man having lived a rich and fulfilling life.

If I'm being absolutely realistic, I'll probably choke on my own vomit or be stabbed by a lunatic during a hectic night out. Or die of some embarrasing ailment, like catching a new and unidentified virus that makes you lose control of your bodily functions before you die. Knowing my luck they'd name the virus after me and years in the future teenagers could snigger at the ignominious manner of my passing.