Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Intimations of Mortality

I was nearing the end of Jonathan Carroll's 'Outside the Dog Museum', all the while listening to music, when something written triggered off an overwhelming recognition of death. Whether it was thoughts of Japan, worries about my parents, or friends, all coming together, the starkness shocked me. I have managed feelings of my own mortality in the past, but its sheer certainty, its total antithesis to my now, flooded me. I had a brief moment of panic. The corners of the room looked precious to me. Then I remembered that long expanse of time before there was a me and that longer expanse after. So I'd be shut off. So what! Was it the pain I 'might' feel at death? I've felt pain before. Death get your fucking barb out of me this minute, you stinking fucker. No, there's nothing to worry about really, though a wave of sorry nostalgia succeeded that initial wave as I thought again of my parents, my healthy brothers, grand kids. And then the adagio from Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto started. (I live in a time when I can hear this.) Without a word of a lie, I smiled.


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