A long time ago I was told, or heard, read, or made up that the only concepts people deeply care about are love and death. Therefore, the only art worth a damn either dives into these subjects or glides by them enough to force the observer to feel their presence. Different variations of the two shine through in many ways, including sex (truthfully, I tend to think sex is stronger biologically than love but when taking into account a mothers love and the need for strong bonds within a human pack in order to survive, love might win out.) overcoming insurmountable odds to cheat death, sacrifice for the lives of others, health, learning ways to enjoy life more so that death will seem distant and irrelevant, and any other number of plot lines of stories, still pictures or poems.
I’ve chewed on this idea for many years and tried to achieve ways around it. I’ve read books, watched movies and seen other mediums that don’t fit into either category. While these might have their moments of magic, they fail to touch the spirit. They might make you think a little or laugh a lot but you won’t walk away feeling overwhelmed by life. Which begs the question of what’s the point. Considering our time breathing is minuscule and not guaranteed, it would seem to be a waste of it to spend it letting our minds grow mold around lesser matters.
Over the years I’ve spent obscene amounts of time pondering love & death. In my experience, I’ve seen love live a temporal existence, while death is of the more permanent variety. The changing tides of love never made sense to me until I finally realized that love everlasting is not sustainable in an ever changing life. People change, things change. My eureka moment wasn’t pleasant or welcomed. I didn’t want to think of a world where “I love you” meant now, not tomorrow. My heart did its battle with my head, and as per usual, my head won out. It all came together when I accepted that human nature was not built to perceive relationships in huge amounts of time. Death could be coming right up. Subconsciously we know it and make decisions based on its constant hovering.
After the initial shock of this love revelation, I wrapped it up into a tiny box and set it in the furthest reaches of my brain. I’d open it later when I had acquired the proper tools to make it work to my advantage. Without death, I may have never touched the subject again. I would have kept on forcing myself to either believe in a love doomed or I would have given up on love and become a terrible person. Alas, the promise of death formulated the proper thoughts to give me the proper perspective. Fear has always been my staunchest supporter. I can say with absolute certainty, without the level of fear I carry, I would have met death well before any lessons, whatsoever, could be learned.
Surely, I’m not alone in this exercise, I know a few people can relate to my morbid ways. I on occasion will close my eyes and imagine I have a deadly disease of some kind. I’ll do my best make believe of all the feelings one might feel with a known deadline. I can only last for so long. My breathing gets heavy and I begin to panic. The intensity is too much. After my heart has slowed and my brain has cleared, I see what, if any, clarity I’ve achieved. Normally, the good stuff won’t show up for a few days or longer. The resining lasts for a good while. It was in such a time where I finally understood love in the most profound way.
Death is coming and love is here. At this moment I have love. In the present I have a gift. I must continue to focus on the current to understand the magnitude. Today, I have love. Death is for tomorrow.