Thursday, August 28, 2008
Diahn is responsible for this! It's her birthday tomorrow so I forgive her but I did waste time on this when I could have been drawing. I don't normally do those 'what type of donut are you?' games (who cares?!) but this was rather interesting. It's a Wordle and if you type in your blog URL it will scan the text and display words in different sizes according to their frequency. I thought the words 'this' and 'that' might be the biggest so it's a relief to see it is an accurate indication of the things that obsess me! Strange, though that 'time' is the biggest word as it's been so much on my mind recently.
Actually, it's always on my mind. I was thinking of writing about it a few days ago but decided not to. Then I read an article about the author of 100 Things To Do Before You Die, Dave Freeman - he died recently at the age of 47 and it got me thinking again. It's there again in this article, the advice to 'live each day as if it's your last'. If you mention the word perfection these days, someone will immediately try to convince you that you are on the slippery slope to madness and constant hand washing. But trot out that little bit of advice and everyone will agree it's a worthy aim. Live each day as if it's your last and you will fill every moment with useful activity, spreading goodwill, being an all round good egg and really appreciating your life. And of course, what goes around comes around so the whole world becomes be a better place.
Poppycock, I say. If today was your last day on earth, would you waste it running with the bulls in Pamplona? No, I'd spend it with my family, and I don't care how boring that makes me. When I was about five or six years old, my parents left Ireland for England and left me behind. I don't remember what I was told, but some part of me thought they had died. One day they were there, next day they were gone. And from that age, I've always been aware of the fragility and value of life. How one day, one second, has the power to change your life. But it's not liberating, it's paralysing, thinking that you have to value time, have something to show for it. Knowing you or your loved ones can go at any time and knowing every day is one day closer to the inevitable.
Running with bulls, watching the dung beetle or even climbing Everest, are only great things to do if you think you have a few years left before you kick the bucket. And if I wanted to stick my neck out, I'd say these are things males need to do to feel their lives have some meaning. No, I believe this advice should come with a warning - trying to live each day as if it's your last is an impossible goal and almost certainly doomed to failure. As pointless as trying to be happy every day. If you really lived by it, it would take all the enjoyment out the simple pleasures in life that have nothing to show for them. Being human means, well, being human - we are not perfect and life is not meant to be perfect. I feel sorry for Mr Freeman but I'd bet if he could come back for just one day, he wouldn't waste it on a voodoo pilgrimage to Haiti. Life doesn't have to be full to be valuable.