Few of us seem to realize that life doesn’t begin with the first breath entering babies’ lungs, although this is certainly true of their present reincarnation. Nor does it end with the last breath—although breath, pneuma in ancient Greek, represented both breath and spirit.
For some reason various churches decided to relegate the onset of life to physiological function of conception, and then, more often than not, declared sex to be a sin. By that definition the people I see spread out on the deckchairs around our heated pool hardly sin at all; perhaps by gluttony but hardly by sinful sex. Or perhaps life also ends with the last orgasm—or at least, life after the last one is not worth living?
Yes, I’m in Florida, taking in vitamin D. Others also take in the sun, washing it down with beer. They all recline on deckchairs, their bodies sizzling with tanning oils, seemingly waiting to be fried to death, or at least for a time when they can retire to their condos to get down to serious drinking.
It’s a long wait!
“Bored?” I asked.
They’d dreamt of the time when they’d retire, do some travelling, take a few cruises, play a little golf.
“Too late. The bones won’t let me,” they confessed sadly, in unison. “I hurt all over…”
Overweight? I didn’t ask.
“Now… we just wait…”
After 20 laps I went back to my computer, and spent the rest of the day working on my next novel. Except for the laps and a perfunctory drying out period, little has changed, here, in Florida, in my modus vivendi. I spend some 8-10 hours on my computer, writing and promoting my work. The rest of the time I enjoy the benefits that the climate has to offer. I walk and exercise a little more.
Later, my mind retuned to the prostrate bodies at the pool. I realized what happened. Those nice people think that when they die, they’ll continue to sit around, in heaven, probably upgrading their drinks to Bloody Marys, without any danger of swelling their already burgeoning rotund girths. After all, what good is heaven if you can’t enjoy with impunity what is a no-no down here?
Well, at one time or another we all delude ourselves about a thing or two. I suspect that when we fall asleep for the last time in this particular embodiment, we continue in our dream exactly as we did when we fell asleep. That is why I make sure that I only get involved in things that I love. That I dream about.
So why succumb to the Futility of a Long Wait? At the pool or anywhere? After all, there is no end. Neither is there a beginning. There is just life, in different forms, at different times. But it’s the same life. Continuous. Eternal. For those who know that one is immortal, waiting for death is such a ineffectual pastime.
Don’t you just love Life?
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