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Life is Tenous

2011/11/16 1 comment

This morning while I was walking to the bus stop I heard a car honking loudly behind me and turned to look. In a split second I clearly saw a car going by about ten feet behind me with a tiny ball of brown fur tumbling wildly as it disappeared underneath the front of the car. It was such a bad image I couldn’t do anything but close my eyes.

It took me a few seconds to recover but I knew I had to look no matter how bad it was on the off chance the dog had survived and needed help. I was shocked to see a little chiguagua running away from the scene as fast as it legs could carry it. If the dog had jumped the curb a half second sooner or later, or had run just a bit faster or slower, or the driver had swerved in either direction, the dog would have been struck by a wheel. But instead it went right down the middle of the car between the wheels. I could not believe the dog had survived and watched it run all the way down the street to make sure it didn’t’ suddenly drop dead right in the middle of it’s run.

Afterwards, waiting for the bus, I thought how tenuous life is. I know it intellectually. Yet as I ride the bus, I certainly expect to ride back home later in the day. I know I’ll die someday, but I go through today feeling pretty cocky that it’s not today. But there’s no real guarantee. None at all.

And so I look at this day a bit differently than I do a normal work day. I don’t feel quite as cocky as most days. While I don’t think today is “it”, I do look at my plans for the day. I do realize that while it’s unlikely, it’s not impossible that I may not see tomorrow. And it’s not a depressing view of life. It’s a positive introspection. To realize that the amount of life I have left it undeterminable, and I should use it as such.

I also thought today that the dog’s owner also would not have expected the dog’s life to be over. They would have expected the dog to be back as it came back every day. And yet they had no more guarantee that the dog would be around than the dog did. So I’m thinking not only do I need to live knowing that I have no idea how long I’ll be around for, but that I have no idea how long the people I love will be around for. I think I need to make some dates today to have coffee with good friends.

Life is uncertain. Eat desert first.

–Al-

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