Death of the Immortal

Sometime over the past 2 or 3 years, I have shed any and all delusions of being immortal.

Intellectually I have known for a long time that some day I shall die. But, it was a far and distant destination beyond my power to observe.

Now I am mortal; a human whose existence inexorably grinds its way to his final breath and heartbeat. I raise my eyes and in the distance I see my journey’s end – a barren and desolate land, windswept and cold. A lonely cairn testifying that I am no more. Freed from the burdens of sadness and loneliness, denied the joys of loving and cherishing.

Nevertheless, I expect there are at least another 30 or 40 years left in me, but … it is still sad to recognize ones mortality.

I have passed from the Summer of my life into the Autumn. I expect it to be a long and glorious Autumn with bright and vibrant colours. A sunny Autumn with leaves burning with burnished brilliance. The next stop is Winter whence the days shall grow shorter and colder until nothing remains but cold and darkness.

“I am forty years old now, and you know forty years is a whole lifetime; you know it is extreme old age. To live longer than forty years is bad manners, is vulgar, immoral. Who does live beyond forty? Answer that, sincerely and honestly I will tell you who do: fools and worthless fellows.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky, ‘Notes from the Underground’

The image was taken from here.

NOTE: My mental and emotional states are fine. For various reasons, I have chosen to be somewhat melancholic with my post today. And I won't be 40 until Feb-2006.

[29-December-2005: fixed broken hyperlink]


Well, I hope you don't take turning 40 as hard as I did (something I never saw coming, as I've always celebrated each and every birthday with enthusiasm :). My husband had a similar experience as well, a few years prior. It seemed to take approx. 2 years for each of us to snap out of our middle-age "funk".
Richard said…
I suspect I hit the "middle age funk" - 2 or 3 years ago.

It's a funny thing, because my wife considers it too young to have gone through it already. She views middle age as something much later in life (maybe the 50s or 60s).

I don't think I will take turning 40 any harder than I took turning any other age. The only thing I really want is to know I have achieved my fullest potential and have broken free of all the shadows and doubts which plague me (I realize I am not the only one tormented by personal demons, a random walk through blog land handily brings up many angst ridden journals).
Bee said…
hmmn... i m reminded that there is "a time to be born and a time to die" Ecclesiastes 3:2

i m learning to grow old graciously and learning meaningfully, although sometimes i wish time can stand still, or i can turn back the time... there is a season for our life too.
Richard said…
Turning back time is impossible, but living graciously is well within our power.

The problem is to not be afraid to live to our full potential - but uncertain futures and outcomes cast dark shadows on our courage.

Thanks Bee.
Oh an aquarius are you not? I think men are in their prime even when they reach 40. Hope I will be a stunning classy woman when i am 40! :)
Richard said…
Well, for 39 years I have believed I was an Aquarius. But blogger seems to want to peg me as a Pisces (I am born on the 18th of February, 1966 - so I had to lie about my b-day). After some research, apparently the 18th goes Pisces once every few years and 1966 seems to have been one of those years.

But, I am too old to want to change from being: Friendly and humanitarian, Honest and loyal, Original and inventive, Independent and intellectual, Intractable and contrary, Perverse and unpredictable, Unemotional and detached

To being: Imaginative and sensitive, Compassionate and kind, Selfless and unworldly, Intuitive and sympathetic, Escapist and idealistic, Secretive and vague, Weak-willed and easily led.

You can easily see imagine what I look like, just add 29 years to the picture of me ;-)

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