I keep forgetting that I’m dying
This is an old piece I wrote back in 2010 and then rewrote again in 2016. Still relevant.
And I still keep forgetting it. I still walk this world like I’m sure to be here tomorrow. But I’m not.
So I stand between a moment that is gone and a moment that hasn’t come yet — and which may never come. And I quietly admit: I will die.
With the utter certainty it will happen. And with the utter uncertainty as to when and how.
It’s an illusion to act like I have another day. It may come — but what makes me think I will live to see it?
It’s not that I can die tomorrow. Even “tomorrow” is just another error in thinking. It is that this very breath may be my last.
People ask me how can I possibly live like this.
I ask how could I possibly live otherwise.
With this in mind I sometimes part with people saying:
“If we meet again…” People tend to laugh and dismiss it saying
“Why shouldn’t we?”
The question is: why should we?
Awareness of my mortality is a cold edge slicing the perception in two so that I may pass through. It’s the ultimate measure against which you can gauge everything else. And when impermanence is brought to full attention, it changes everything it touches and nothing remains the same.
When I turn to look my mortality in the eye, everything acquires
a new value and a new meaning face to face with my inevitable death.
The drive deep down starts to pulse with a new power.
And the entire perspective changes.
Things and priorities shift and click into new places and new relationships.
Some things remain important. Some vanish like ashes in the wind.
And I have to face it again — I have no time to waste. None.
I have but this one moment — and maybe never again another.
This is it. One chance for everything. Moment by moment slips away and the sand pours down. If there is anything I’d like to burn into my consciousness, it is this.
Proximity of death grants life an amazing flavor. Suddenly, there’s an unbelievable abundance of beauty in the world. Things and acts gain on an unexpected intensity and a very specific urgency. I have no time.
The challenge, then, is to keep reminding myself of this often enough.
But — knowing death will claim us all one way or another — and remembering it is breathing down my neck as well, it becomes very clear that I want to give my all. It is here where actions take on power.
It is here, in the shadow of a scythe, where I can shed a lot of fears and attachments so that I can act with ease and intensity.
Act as if my life depended on it. Because it does.
As if this was to be the last thing I do in this world.
My last dance, my last battle.
Because it very well can be.