Thursday, July 2, 2009
I hope you are happy, papa. You are, of course, much in my mind today.
Thank you. Understanding is always appreciated; it is like a cat must feel when somebody is stroking him. And you have a saying, don’t you, about getting “strokes” when people complement each other?
I believe you do understand why I had no good choices left, so you understand what my suicide did and didn’t mean to me. But more, you somewhat understand and must put more effort and thought to it if you are going to really understand, that I like other people was a different person at different times of my life. You could say, different every single day, and with the perception of that difference comes a sort of background desperation sometimes, a sense that it’s slipping away, that it could never be held in the first place. That background realization was always there, and it ought to tell you something.
I am sort of distracted at the moment, don’t know why. Fragments of a movie scene again last night (Dead Again).
Until I wrote down the title, the connection hadn’t occurred to me. Okay – since you can probably see it more clearly than I can – what does it suggest?
I can’t necessarily be responsible for your associations! But think of your father to understand me better.
Yes, I get that. Different life circumstances, but a similar wish to enjoy the day rather than living in past or future.
When you realize that your life is always slipping out from under your feet, as a boy you look forward to when you will be a man and can participate fully in life. It doesn’t occur to you that life will still be slipping away behind you. As a grown man you feel the slippage but you’re thinking of where you’re going, what you hope is coming to you. And at some point you see that the best actual action is behind you and the best you can hope for is whatever wisdom you’ve accumulated, plus the use of skill you’ve acquired, plus you can still enjoy lots of things. But if you don’t have any sense that there’s more coming after life, the pointlessness overwhelms you, plus there’s no use just sitting around waiting for death if you don’t want to and aren’t afraid to die.
That monk John Tettemer you read about – he was old enough to be my father, and he died a good while before I did.
Yes. He knew the value of the fact that the present moment doesn’t exist, or is all that exists, however you want to look at it. He set his eyes on eternity because he could see that this life in a body is just a fast ride to there.
So – your life is just an expression of carpe diem?
My life is an expression of living life to the fullest as best I could, physically and mentally. And emotionally. If I could have had a more satisfying framework for the spiritual longing that was at the core of me, I might have been happier, but maybe I couldn’t have done that. You yourself have seen how hard it is to live when you don’t believe in the reality of things.
Yes. So few things are worth much effort, unless I can persuade myself to throw myself into them, and that doesn’t last.
“And that doesn’t last” could sum up everybody’s life, could it not?
Thank you, Papa. Your life certainly was a success in that you gave so much to the rest of us.
It’s funny, isn’t it? You work so hard to succeed and at the end of it, the only thing that matters is your effect on others. Not true, exactly, but in a way close enough.