Monday, March 6, 2017

On approaching the end of one's time on this planet, plus Davy Crockett

In less than two weeks I will be celebrating hope to be celebrating the seventy-sixth anniversary of my first appearance on planet Earth, ye olde Terra Firma, third rock from the sun, and so on, which to date has been both ongoing and uninterrupted. It occurred in the city of Pawtucket in the county of Providence in the smallest of all of the fifty states, Rhode Island, in a house on Merrick Street with a Dr. Ronne attending. Doctors still made house calls in those dear, dead, almost-beyond-recall days of 1941, the demise of which practice, though perhaps understandable, is to be lamented.

I have reached the point in life where one recognizes the fact that one does not know whether one has another twenty years or another twenty minutes but that either scenario is possible. I suppose this is true at every single moment along the continuum of everyone's life, but the difference that comes with age, I think, is the recognizing part, the recognizing that one's time breathing in and breathing out has an actual, unavoidable, and rapidly approaching end point.

The mortality rate, friends, is one per person.


Everyone dies. No one is exempted.

On that happy note, what should we do? Eat, drink, and be merry? Pour out our secret sins in a tell-all confessional novel? Retreat to a cloistered monastery for prayer and contemplation? Earn as much money as we can and send it to televangelists? Invest in gold and silver? Work in a soup kitchen in the inner city? Hoard our treasures so that our heirs can either enjoy or sell them? Waste our substance in riotous living? Complain about the current state of affairs? Get right with God? Stock up on freeze-dried food and move to an underground shelter? Be kind to our neighbors? Binge-watch The Walking Dead? Go dancing?

So many choices. So little time.

In other news, today is the 181st anniversary of the fall of the Alamo.


  1. For me the choice is easy. I will live each moment I have left. If I choose to do any of the things you suggest or something I might come up with on my own, that will be how I live at that time. With an eye toward the near future I cannot be extravagant but at the same time I will not deprive myself of things I need or want.

  2. Like Emma I plan on living each moment. No existing. Living.
    A work in progress, like me.

  3. I just went to Merrick Street, Pawtucket courtesy of Google Streetview. You should go there too as a birthday treat. I was looking for a plaque or a heritage sign saying something like "Birthplace of Robert H. Brague, born 1941 - CIA operative Sweden, blogging pioneer and world famous organist" but alas your link with Merrick Street has not yet been recognised. Perhaps they are waiting till you finally shuffle off your mortal coil many years from now.

  4. I go by the words of Muhammad Ali: "Live every day as if it were your last because someday you're going to be right."

  5. Darn! I thought YOU were “right with God.” I had counted on YOU to get to heaven first, and put in a good word for me, and here I am not knowing whether you’re going up or down. What if, instead of your labored faith, God values honesty, and it turns out that I’m interceding with God on YOUR behalf. I would do it, you know. I would tell God that my friend, Rhymes, was afraid of him. God would say, “Afraid of me, ME? I see men’s hearts, so I know very well who believes and who doesn’t, so there’s no pretending. I would say, “You’re a hard man, God, but seriously, what do yo think of the latest travel ban?

  6. I am chagrined that no one wants to talk about Davy Crockett (not really).

    Thank you Emma, Sue, and Ian for your straightforward answers to the question I posed, what should (will) we (you) do?

    Thank you, YP, for doing exactly what I thought you would do. You can see the actual house where I was born as well as the little window where the sun came peeping in at morn by entering the specific address, 51 Merrick Street.

    Thank you, Snowbrush, for responding but not for thinking I was talking about ME when I plainly said WE and obviously meant EACH OF US IN OUR COMMON PREDICAMENT OF GROWING OLDER BY THE MINUTE which means YOU, THE INDIVIDUAL READER, IF THE SHOE FITS AGEWISE. I don't know how you could have missed that.

  7. I have been to Number 51 - well, virtually. I guess that Merrick Street was named after The Elephant Man (John Merrick) but fearing your legendary temper I shall say no more about that.

  8. “Thank you, Snowbrush, for responding but not for thinking I was talking about ME”

    I never imagine that you are I constitute a “we” when it comes to religious faith, and my comment was aimed at that, and not that you and I are not a “we” in terms of mortality, although, last I heard, you regard earthly mortality as the gateway to heavenly immortality, while I regard it as the end of everything that made us who we were.

    “fearing your legendary temper I shall say no more about that.”

    I know what you mean. He’s yelling again. I’ve heard that when a person goes over the hill, his or her personality sometimes changes, so maybe that’s why he’s started yelling so much. It’s hard to know for sure because maybe he always yelled like that, but before I myself went over the hill, I didn’t notice it, or else I regarded it as a cute eccentricity, and it is true that Rhymes is awfully cute, which is really the only reason I come here, well that and how interesting his posts are.

  9. I'm just a little way behind you but my motto is simple: carpe diem. As I am atheist I don't try and please a deity but to live as I have always done trying to be considerate to those other humans (at one time I would have said 'my fellow men' but I understand that is frowned upon nowadays) with whom I share this planet. I don't expect or seek salvation. I'd just like others to show me the same consideration.

  10. Graham, good answer! I recommend the short poem "Abou Ben Adhem" by Leigh Hunt for your reading pleasure. As for the not seeking and not expecting, my hope is that you will be pleasantly surprised.

  11. Well some of my Mother's teaching obviously rubbed off on me. I'd forgotten all about that poem but it was one of both my Mother's and her Mother's oft quoted works. Not that either of them were atheist.

  12. "and it is true that Rhymes is awfully cute, which is really the only reason I come here" - Hahahahaha, very true!

    You've got ages left rhymes, and by all accounts have lived a cracking life up to now, I see no reason that will change up until your last breath. I'm with all those saying to live life for the moment, I've nearly left three times, and have always been glad to remain and make the most of what comes my way, and that which I can create. Content. *nods*.