I've been thinking about death and old age a lot lately. (Yeah, I know. I think about those a lot. See labels on right.)
But, anyway, life and death reminds me of a random collage, kind of like the wall above. We deal with this, decide that, go back and forth and there is all this random stuff and then whammy...this one certain end.
My dad has been going through a period of adjustment since his car wreck. He has been getting rides places and getting errands run by folks, including me. It's obviously disconcerting for him not to have a car, but with his vision problems driving at night is impossible and he already didn't like driving to certain places because of parking issues or traffic. He has had some interesting reactions to it all. He has threatened to call a taxi a few times, but has, in fact, not done so. He has called friends to bum rides. He declared that he was going to "go a month without a car." (Tomorrow that month is up.) He has declared different amounts he estimated that it cost him to own a car, how much to insure it per day, etc. And, in a possibly unrelated train of thought, he told me the other day that he was "going to live to 112." I could see myself, 80-odd years old, trying to see after him. He revised this downward a decade a few days later, only to reassert 112 yesterday. He manuevered his own giant recycling container back up the steep yard to his garage to "see if he could do it." I don't know what's going on with him except that giving up owning a car (or at least considering it) is a big step and he's adjusting to it, thinking through possibilities.
The review for the Diana Athill book quotes her on the car subject:
“Your car begins to represent life. You hobble towards it, you ease your unwieldy body laboriously into the driver’s seat — and lo! you are back to normal. Off you whiz just like everyone else, restored to freedom.”
But we never know when death will come. A few minutes ago I heard a plane had landed in the Hudson River but it now seems that everyone may have survived. They live. But to die another day.
Because death never gives up. To quote the book review above, quoting a Julian Barnes' book:
Yeah, death. A sure thing. It's life that's puzzling.
In his recent meditation on death, “Nothing to Be Frightened Of,” Julian Barnes wrote, “Artists are unreliable; whereas death never lets you down.” He added, “You would buy shares in death, if they were available.”