18 October 2011

Literary Drive-By #00001: I'm Going to Die! One Day.

LDB No. 1: I had this dream of writing detailed, in-depth literary reviews for this blog. But that's just not me. I can do it every now and then, but not every day. So, now I have another dream: The Literary Drive-By. Since a single day can find me reading anywhere from one to, say, four or five books, and my brain operates more like a hopped-up gangsta than a patient, disciplined sniper assassin, the drive-by is a good model for sharing my literary life.

No further ado.

I'm going to die! This is what His Holiness the Dalai Lama told me yesterday in the audio book, Becoming Enlightened, and I swear it's the best news I've heard in some time (other than the whole enceinte thing of course). I was just as surprised as you that it had this effect on me. As I was kind of half-sleeping (very comfortably) in bed last night, I kept having the thought: I'm going to die! Me, yours truly, citygirl, is going to die one day! Let me tell you something: it was, and is, intensely joyful and liberating. Now before you chalk me up as some foggy depressive (sometimes true) with suicidal tendencies (not at all true), let me give you a little context. HHtDL says that our problems come from viewing this life as permanent and told me in no uncertain terms yesterday as I was driving that I, indeed, was going to exit this life at some point. No matter how much I ignored this fact it was not going to go away. It is inevitable. Therefore, he suggested that I face my own mortality. Now, of course, I was aware, before I heard this, of a rumor going around that human beings, every single one, is born, lives, and then...dies, vampire lore notwithstanding. And I gave this rumor a lot of credence. In my experience, several people that I have known personally have, in fact, died. But the much larger majority of my acquaintance is still living, so it is not a proven fact, just a likely theory. And, vaguely, I was aware that most intelligent people would agree that I, citygirl, would probably die some time in the future, and I guess I also subscribed to this theory, but truthfully, I'd avoided thinking too much about it. Don't we all? I mean, other people die and are going to die, but not us. Right? It's really kind of inconceivable. But yesterday, I learned, with certainty that I am going to die...one day.

The relief was, and is, intense. My whole perspective shifted, for the better. Now that I know that I am going to die, I am soooo excited about living! Like right now, I am at work, and I could be playing addictive, smart-making Asian logic games (you have got to try Hashi) or fondling my virtual books on their virtual bookshelves (LibraryThing and Goodreads) as a way of avoiding the paper debris on my desk, but no, I am WRITING! The thing I am usually miserable about not doing, and I am doing it. Why? Because I am going to die one day, so if I'm going to get any writing in, I had better do it while I'm alive. I mean, I don't know how Tupac does it, but I think posthumous creative activity is beyond my abilities.

So have a great day! And, if you want to feel good, try contemplating your mortality. Mazel tov.


  1. Okay, let's try this again and see if I can do it without mistakes!

    Stopping by to let you know I've found you. Yeah, I had an "I'm going to die period" in my life, too. Happened to me, for some reason, when I turned 45. It dawned on me then that the numbers really were getting larger, not smaller. And it is kind of freeing, isn't it?

  2. Oh, and "Tea" is Theaelizbet.

  3. I figured that. Thanks for coming! A little nervous.

  4. I suspect it's no coincidence, and no disrespect intended to His Holiness, The Dalai Lama -- I've got a book of his I should read -- that becoming a mother can't help but make you a little conscious of your own mortality too.

    Great inspiring post.

  5. Thanks, Freeque! And I suspect that you are correct, sir.