Thursday, 20 March 2008

Feeling more mortal these days

This has not been a normal week, because three persons have died, with two of them I have been on hugging terms, and with one on handshake terms.

It is sad, and it is final, and with every one of these three men, a whole world has disappeared. They have disappeared to non-existence, but their traces remain, and they have changed the world forever.

Two died from an aggressive disease, one only three years and the other twenty-one years older than me. One died from old age, three years older than my statistical life expectancy. I knew it already, but this last week leaves no doubt about the fact that the black area in the graphic of my life is black because it is completely unknown. It might well be as small as one pixel.

One of the obituary notices began with "Carpe diem" (seize the day), and I tried to figure out how I would live this very day if I knew that it would be my last one. Frankly, I am not yet ready. I don't think that we can live every day of life as if it were our last. Just because such an intensity would be very exhausting. I also doubt that the imagination of a last day can produce the same feeling as really knowing that it is the last day.

Anyway, on my usual morning jog, it came to my mind that, some years ago, I had used a pulse meter to monitor my fitness level, and that I do not use such a device any more, and that its use on a hypothetical last day of my life would be very, very absurd. Instead, while jogging, I try to reach a state of flow which cannot be achieved when out of breath.

By the way, my breath seems to have got a bit shorter recently, and I have some unpleasant feeling in the upper left part of my trunk. I am not sure how come. Could it be sort of mortal empathy, powered by the awareness that death may come very quickly? One of the deceased, on our last encounter, had looked at least as healthy as I do. It may as well be my rusty muscles, so I have started with some very basic arm and shoulder gymnastics yesterday. Today, I feel better, fortunately. But I think I should go for a medical checkup after the Easter holidays.

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