Tuesday, March 15, 2011

“To Fear Death Is To Fear Life.” Taz Mopula


My father died a decade ago and yet he is closer to me, and more likeable, than ever. Pops was handy with a one-liner and when he felt like shaking up a sleepy audience he would suggest, with characteristic irreverence, that the only place where one could see Man and Nature coexisting harmoniously was a cemetery.

Our age has seen many plagues, but none quite so pernicious as entitlement. To paraphrase Churchill, “Never have so many expected so much and done so little to deserve it.” Only after a long succession of merciless beatings did I gain exemption from this toxic mythology; today I assume nothing, not even death.

I have already lived far longer than I ever expected to, endured more, accomplished more, and had more fun. These days are like a “bonus life” life for me, and so, as with money found on the street, I spend them with a sense of childish delight, intent on making them count.

Today I feel entitled to nothing and expect nothing; the impact on my peace of mind is astonishing. I simply cannot be disappointed. 

Poor Old Mr. Death

Poor old Mr. Death
Just a working Joe
People always curse his name
They don't see he's not to blame
For stealing their last breath

Poor old Mr. Death
A victim of bad press
Swiftly does he sweep his sword
To sever newborn child from cord
And start the timepiece ticking

Poor old Mr. Death
So misunderstood
If we lived forever
Imagine the congestion
Things we now find tiresome
Would bore us endlessly
Things that cause us pain today
Would hurt eternally
Ordering a meal would take
The best part of a week
Picking out a tie would be
A full month's undertaking

Poor old Mr. Death
Just a working Joe
People always curse his name
They don't see he's not to blame
For stealing their last breath

Alistair McHarg


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