Tuesday, March 13, 2012

every day a little death

"Every day a little death
In the parlor, in the bed
In the curtains, in the silver
In the buttons, in the bread
Every day a little sting
In the heart and in the head
Every move and every breath
And you hardly feel a thing
Brings a perfect little death"
Even the casual reader of this blog knows that I like Stephen Sondheim’s work -- a lot.

But even I was a bit surprised to start living the lyrics of Every Day a Little Death.  Well, at least, on the surface.

I am not certain where it started.  And it really doesn’t matter.  But the cascade started with something.

Let’s say it was the lamp in my bedroom.  It simply stopped working.  Being an optimist, I was positive a new bulb would shed light on a solution.

Nope.  It turns out that the metal portion that the bulb screws into had headed off to Edison heaven.  When I finally had the thing in my hand, I could see why.  A beer can has thicker construction.

Then my Bluetooth mouse I bought in Manzanillo in January stopped working.  No click.  No input.

And the water dispenser decided water did not need to appear on demand; it could just miraculously appear.  Creating large puddles on tile floor may be great for vaudeville acts, but it is not too amusing to a gimpy-ankled senior who lives in my house.

Then my mobile telephone stopped working.  And two additional lights blew out.

Each failure was no big deal.  Nor were they in aggregate.  After all, the Mexican tropics are tough on things mechanical -- especially the electronic cousins.  But the erosion of expected order got me thinking about life in general.

Things are decomposing around us all the time.  After all, entropy is one of the constants in our lives.  My stuff simply went all at once.  And each one can be fixed or replaced.  For now.

But everything around us -- including our lives -- may appear as if they are stone.  But they are just sand and water waiting to erode.  And there is nothing we can do to stop it.

The only thing we can control is how we choose to live in those conditions.  Railing against the inevitable.  Or enjoying the ride while we hold out our hands to others as both support and an invitation.

It may be a perfect little death, but how we choose the journey will make all the difference. 


Joanne said...

A good friend was recently told she would not live to see 60.  She is 54.  After a short while she stopped feeling sorry for herself and has decided she is going to make sure she does the things that she has been putting off.  Finances were a part of this - now that she doesn't have to budget to age 85, she can spend it.  As she said, we all know we are going to die, she just has a better idea of the time frame.

Mexican Trailrunner said...

Very nice, Steve.  The Buddhist philosophy of impermanence is helpful to me in my life.

Steve Cotton said...

 Faith always make a difference.

Steve Cotton said...

And we she is a good model of how we should each be living.

Marc Olson said...

Very nicely put, Steve. You point precisely down the path I've tried more and more to keep to.

Fiddeus Snypestringer said...

Rail against the inevitable?!  Silly that!  One grabs the first unsuspecting schmuck at hand and simply unloads a life's grief on him, then trots off to the Konditorei for a slice of Torte and a dollop of ice cream.

Steve Cotton said...

I thought of you the other day while I was watching The Artist -- trying to imagine your take on the film.  I think I know now.

But, as you know, for me it would be pie.

Steve Cotton said...

 Thanks, Marc.  The trick is figuring out how to live it each day.