There’s lots of things going on right now that have me thinking about my mortality. Big things. Little things. Things that matter. Things that don’t. When my time is up, so be it. I’m not afraid of death. It’s always been a practical issue in our house. It’s an inevitability. Unavoidable. It’ll come to us all.
Sadly, with Covid, death is coming more quickly and unexpectedly to many. I’m sure there are people out there who are thinking about death and dying more than ever before. If you’re one of them, you may well take comfort in the wonderful Maria Popova’s newsletter this week. In it, she talks about Hannah Arendt’s take on death:
In their fear of death, those living fear life itself, a life that is doomed to die…
Popova covered Arendt in more detail a couple of years back – it’s worth a read. In fact, let this be my New Year’s gift to you – The Marginalian. Sign up for it. You’ll be grateful you did.
Somewhere else, I don’t know where, I came across this poem by the Brazilian poet Mário Raul de Morais Andrade. That it resonated is an understatement.
I counted my years and discovered that I have
less time to live going forward than I have lived until now.
I have more past than future.
I feel like the boy who received a bowl of candies.
The first ones, he ate ungracious,
but when he realized there were only a few left,
he began to taste them deeply.
I do not have time to deal with mediocrity.
I do not want to be in meetings where parade inflamed egos.
I am bothered by the envious, who seek to discredit
the most able, to usurp their places,
coveting their seats, talent, achievements and luck.
I do not have time for endless conversations,
useless to discuss about the lives of others
who are not part of mine.
I do not have time to manage sensitivities of people
who despite their chronological age, are immature.
I cannot stand the result that generates
from those struggling for power.
People do not discuss content, only the labels.
My time has become scarce to discuss labels,
I want the essence, my soul is in a hurry…
Not many candies in the bowl…
I want to live close to human people,
very human, who laugh of their own stumbles,
and away from those turned smug and overconfident
with their triumphs,
away from those filled with self-importance,
Who does not run away from their responsibilities ..
Who defends human dignity.
And who only want to walk on the side of truth
The essential is what makes
I want to surround myself with people,
who know how to touch the hearts of people ….
People to whom the hard knocks of life,
taught them to grow with softness in their soul.
Yes …. I am in a hurry … to live with intensity,
that only maturity can bring.
I intend not to waste any part of the goodies
I have left …
I’m sure they will be more exquisite,
that most of which so far I’ve eaten.
My goal is to arrive to the end satisfied and in peace
with my loved ones and my conscience.
I hope that your goal is the same,
because either way you will get there too .
Here’s to a year of maturity.