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A stone into a still pond 0

Dear Bradshaw,

            Sad news. A friend of Francesca’s father passed away today. I was shaving when she told me the news and what I said was, “I’m sorry to hear that.” Then I finished shaving, rinsed my face, and that was that.

            But it struck me as strange, as it always does, to hear that somebody had died and to feel nothing, no grief, no sense of loss. Like dropping a stone into a still pond, the further away you are, the less the ripples rock your boat. The fact is, even as I write these words, people are dying all over the world, in hospitals and out, tragically or not, with pain and without. And if everybody’s death, including those outside my circle of acquaintance, affected me personally, it would be impossible to drag myself out of bed each morning.

            Nevertheless, the news about her father’s friend sent ripples through my pond, causing me to consider (and not for the first time) my own mortality, and I’ve got to say, Shaw, in the end, that’s just it, isn’t it? After all, why should it matter when it happens to others if it didn’t inevitably happen to me too? Meanwhile, though it can’t be dissected by a laser beam or observed through a telescope it’s there, as real as you reading this now.

            Okay, so, yes, there’s death, but there are babies being born too, all over world, new Earthlings arriving every instant, escorted in while others are ushered out. We are (all of us) coming and going, everything in motion, always, at least until breakdown and death. That’s the balance that makes the mystery endurable: The glory of life is the kiss of death.

            Gosh, Shaw, I’ve got to stop thinking such things. Better to focus on the fact that Jimi’s currently curled up, sleeping in a prism of light shining through the window, while I’m here with my legs up, resting against the cushions of our couch.

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