“I do not ask to live to a hundred,” my aunt would say, for she preferred to have no definite limit fixed to the number of her days.“
Marcel Proust, “Swann’s Way”
The unimaginable approaches each of us in a novel and unusual way. Some propose (or pretend) a callous indifference. Others seek to circumscribe the unknown by single-minded dedication to what they believe is calculated advantage. Some simply abandon the prospect either by ignorance or metaphysical elucidation. Whatever the aforethought no matter how purposeful or reckless it may be, the accepted awareness is that there isn’t one. We all know of those who have been removed from this indefinable sphere too soon and others who have lingered far beyond expectation. We all share that limitless prospective.
Whatever the appropriate forecast each of us must ultimately make our own decision. Opting for unseeing continuance may be the least overwhelming of the many options when considering the inevitable. It has at least the benefit of distraction, hopefully assuaging. Yet the objective is not blunt outlook. Personally I rather prefer to “rise above it” so to speak, to carry on whatever the circumstance, to see the path to the farmhouse on the hill either through the forest or around it. In no case is the obstruction insurmountable.
Stubbornness is among the distinguishing features of the determined mind. It incorporates the heedless conviction of imprudence and the settled resolve of someone looking for an answer. In matters of immortality there are few who would challenge either the logic or righteousness of another.The resolution of the prospect is indeterminable as far as I can tell. So it makes sense to me to adopt the same path which has characterized my entire life; namely, get out of bed and get on with it! The fulfilling feature of life is that its buoyancy is constant. Once withdrawn from the stinging reflections of slumber, the meaning of life becomes instantly more clear and less circular.
The coupling of mind and body even in these weighty affairs is indisputable. It is as patent as the appetite for food. It is this natural or instinctive connection which oddly by its seeming diminution heightens and authenticates one’s conduct. The objective of purity is not confined to the cerebral; rather it is a visceral demonstration as well.
A detour of somewhat greater gravity is the inclination especially of the aging carcass to recall the past. This is not entirely obtrusive to devotion to the present or the future but it may carry with it the baggage of the past by which I mean a wistful desire to return there. That is naturally an impossibility. The more sobering analysis may be to imagine you were actually there; or, just as adventitiously, to question why, if it were so terrific, you hadn’t noticed before. From this frozen conclusion we may be inspired to enlarge the detail of the present. It is so much better than getting on one’s horse and riding off in all directions!