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Life for life’s sake 0

Dear Bradshaw,

Jeez, brother, I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t had time to cut my toenails. Can you believe that? They’re getting so long I could slice through a chunk of cheese with my big toe. Each morning after showering, while drying my feet, I look down at my toenails and remember that I need to cut them but, being in a hurry, resolve to do it the next day. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Funny thing about tomorrow, Bradshaw, it’s never today.

Anyway, the issue is how busy I’ve been. It’s getting to the point that I’m relieved when one of my private students cancels a lesson. Instead of sweating the money I’m not making, I feel like I’ve found a 100-euro bill on the ground. But when no one cancels, oh boy, I leave my apartment at 8am and return after 9pm and by the time I get my teaching materials in order for the next day, empty my pockets, and then turn on my computer and sit down to write, I’ve got about 45 minutes before Francesca finishes cooking and it’s time to eat dinner. Is this to be the story of my life? A man works such long hours he has no time for toiletries?

Well, if so, I refuse to accept it. Life’s too short. Time’s too precious. I’m going to turn things around, all of it, everything inside-out. After all, there’s no destiny, no meaning to life. It’s mine to mold. Meanwhile, too many people starve for meaning, can’t imagine life without it. It’s too terrifying. Shakespeare said it best in Act V, Scene 5 of Macbeth when he wrote:

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

I couldn’t agree more, life for life’s sake. Take your body, for example, which is composed of organs, each with its own purpose, working together to keep you (and therefore them) alive. The heart pumps blood, the lungs breathe, the stomach digests food, the brain thinks, but ideally they’re all there working, doing their job to keep you alive. Where’s the meaning in that outside of simply being? Consider this bottle of wine I’m drinking. It’s a bottle, filled with wine, and that’s that. Where’s the meaning? Any meaning would be my own projection, my own reading into it.

So that’s it then. Something to think about (more for me than you, I guess). In the meantime, I’ve got to cut my toenails. Ah heck, I’ll do it later, after I finish carving up this cheese. Isn’t that something? I’ll say so.

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