Sunday, January 14, 2007

I'm Glad I'm Dead!

One of my favorite jokes, besides a very bad pun involving Jim Jones and a punchline (get it, punchline, HA!), is the one about Pollyanna's (that eternally cheerful fictional character) tombstone -- What is written on Pollyanna's tombstone -- I'm glad I'm dead! The joke seems very true to me, in the way that the best comedy is. I overheard someone in a CVS the other day say that she was making a gratitude list for the new year at the urging of her therapist, but had only gotten to number three. You're breathing, her friend said. The exchange reminded me of an apartment complex I once looked at that listed hot and cold running water as one of its special features or the hotels that still display AM/FM Radio in All Rooms! on their signs to draw customers.

Although I have never watched Nascar despite my southern roots, I felt sorry for Dale Earnhart Jr. when his dad died in that fiery car crash, mostly because he'd have to hear, over and over, even on television, how thankful he should be that his dad died doing something he loved, a final race, that he hadn't suffered, that he'd gone out with a bang. I'll say. So let me get this straight -- Dale Jr. is supposed to be grateful that he got to see his dad die in a race in which he was also competing, burnt down to his teeth? Maybe he could put that on his gratitude list! And even though I lean toward the glib and clever instead of the earnest and hopeful, would rather die than admit suffering or weakness, maybe I should make such a list as well. I could start with breathing! But maybe not. A man on an airplane once told me that the less you breaths you take per minute, the longer you live. My breathing, short and rapid, one might say shallow, makes me think of the Pollyanna tombstone. But my vow today is to take a deep breath, at least as much as my puny lungs will allow, and begin.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"It is time for writers to admit that nothing in this world makes sense. Only fools and charlatans think they know and understand everything." Anton Chekhov

Cocktail Hour

Drinking reading suggestion: The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love Oscar Hijuelos (one of my all-time favorite books ever!)

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Sunday!


Short bus and Special said...

We want our ahses to be mixed when we die. We're a mambo combo!

Johnny Carson's tombstone said...

I'll be right back.

Anonymous said...

The less you eat the longer you live too, so maybe the fact that you've been liberated from the camps will offset your rapid breathing.

Chuck Gremlin's grave said...

One two, buckle my shoe.

Anonymous said...

Strange things happen in stores, be it overhearing conversations or having a weird man come up to you in the parking lot and asking, "I just wanted to tell you that you have amazing boobs. Can I look at them? What size are they?"

That's when I bought a can of pepperspray.

Where was that photo taken?

Billy Barty said...

Always carry a boxcutter.

Jon said...

Breathing for me in this carcinoma winter is not a given. I can stand and walk to the bathroom without falling over, but a side trip to the kitchen is out of the question. If I crawl I can get up to my office computer and post an unamusing little death poem. Poor me? Bull shit. Living in whatever condition is still living. And it's good. Put that on your list.

Michelle's Spell said...


I couldn't agree more with your comment -- any day above ground is a good day to quote one of my favorite movies. Keep fighting the good fight, my friend! I'm sending you all good thoughts.

JR's Thumbprints said...

The key to life is to not search for the key and to question everything.

Anonymous said...

I never watch NASCAR or any other sports on TV, but that day when I was channel flipping I stayed on FOX for just a minute because it just caught my attention and bang out of control straight into the wall head first and I remember thinking good thing for the five point safety belts and the sub-frame within the cock pit then flipped away to find something better to watch. Later i found out that the driver, Dale Earnhardt Sr., had been killed and 2 days later started seeing all the memorial stickers for sale in the auto parts store and gas stations.

Yes it must be particular vicious seeing and hearing and seeing and hearing over and over again about the death of your father who was an icon in his chosen field getting killed earning his living.

Yet so it is with everyone who loses a loved one, maybe not with the same intensity and re-plays on TV but the loss is the same. For the famous it is no harder than the not known parent of a child gunned down in a drive by. Death is death.

I am glad for your spell of the day Sunday because that makes me neither fool nor charlatan, my lot in life is to never understand Algebra which gives me an out about knowing everything.

What I do know though is that to die is man's greatest fear yet in your own sacred text of the Bible it says to not fear it,(Hebrews) just like all other fears,when you overcome your fear of it, loses it's power over you and frees you from another of those prisons. Which in turn gives you more room to enjoy the life you have, doing what is your destiny to do. Death as we know it is nothing, if you believe that:

1) There is a creator of all things

2) that if that creator can make all of the galaxies then it would be a simple thing to make a single sperm cell in the womb of a woman

3) that the man we call Jesus died, truly died; dead, as in no more brain activity and heart function.

4) That that same man was brought back from the dead by the power of that creator (Luke last 2 chapters) and was still at that moment of flesh and bone having desire for food t prove to them he encountered that he yet lived.

5) That when that resurrection occurred death in all of it's putrid glory was absolutely defeated, it gave men the ability to overcome their single greatest fear.

Why is it that the more I try to stay away from death the closer it comes? But the less I think of it or even care about it the further it is away from me? JOB said "for that thing which I feared is come unto me and that thing of which I was afraid is happened"

So while I get the point, be wary lest ye die, I don't get the point (anymore) of fearing it. I fear no death, not My mothers nor any of the other 8 I knew last year who died.

Some by their own hand some by illness and, now even less fear my own that convinced that in death itself there is no power over the life that matters which is the life eternal.

I could wake up not breathing Like a friend of mine did this past year (not a suicide but a wee bit to much booze and pills)and then be at rest asleep until the mass resurrection.

Which is another reason to believe in #1 above for that too is a promise made to his creation.

As for my own death, I am ambivalent, I walk my road and believe I have reached the end where all that is left is my spending time here. God and I seeing new shit and revisiting old shit and not worrying about anything. (Of course i don't have boobs Cheri, but a swift kick in the testes may make a better referrance point back for that asshole than mace in the eyes because chances are he's already been maced.)

Simply said a 7am Monday morning, fear nothing. Breathe deep or shallow, eat a little or a lot, crawl to your pc if that is the only way you can get there (I will mention your name Jon when God and I speak together, sounds a lot like what old moms went through) Get the room with the am/fm radio or the color tv because in the end, this is not the end just the starting to what eventually goes on to forever, just do not fear the journey.

"'cept a seed die how would the crop grow"

Peace in your hearts and minds all of you


Cardinal Spellman said...

Thank you, Walking Man. Jesus redeemed humankind from sin, not from death. Jesus even asked His Father if He could get out of it. Even so, excellent comment, WM. Peace be with you, my son, and with your spirit. Tantum ergo sacramentuum.

DoggyDude said...

Good post, and right now very welcomed *offers a hug*. Keep writing from the heart, makes the world a better place.