Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A little trans-dental meditation (paca)

I'm back in my office on campus to do some more editing. It's 10:00 at night here in Hawaii. That's midnight in Seattle; 2:00AM in Louisiana, Texas, and Chicago, 3:00 AM on the east coast and like sometime next Thursday in Thailand. OK, OK. According to our blog which is on Thai time, it is 3:00 PM on the 6th there. There's only, I think, one time zone behind us by the way. You go a couple hours west and you're at tomorrow.

Anyway, I'm here trying to get some more journal work done, and I started hearing this beating outside my window. I started getting pissed. Who the hell is beating on the wooden platforms outside my door at 10 at night? Slowly, it dawned on me that I am right next to the Korean Studies building, which is this amazing structure built in mimic of a traditional Korean palace. They are having a music performance. If I was there listening to it, I'd be all over it, thinking how cool it is, but when I'm not there but here in front of a computer, it's not so worthy.

On a different topic, I remember the exact day that I really realized that I was going to die at some point. Lovely topic, huh? I remember as a kid hearing people say things like "at that age you think you are going to live forever." I never got this at the time. I mean, kids aren't stupid. We all know people die. But I don't think it really sinks in and becomes a part of your life until you are at least in your 20s. (OK, some kids are obsessed with it; let's forget the human universals here and get back to my story) I was standing near my car in Nashville, on some little side street near Vanderbilt and Tower Records and my old work place. I remember it was a cool evening and I was alone. Suddenly, I really knew that one day, maybe tomorrow, maybe in 100 years, I'm going away. That'll be it. It wasn't a depressing thought, just a thought. But at that time I suddenly knew it wasn't just that people die, but that I, the true paca, would die and be no more. And of course in more time than that, but it's just more time, everything else will go to. Our species, planet, star, galaxy. It all disappears.

One way I can tell I am not completely at peace right now is that I'd be rather angry if it all ended tomorrow. I have stuff I want to do and I haven't done it yet. It wouldn't be fair for it to end now. (This is also I think when I started becoming afraid of flying when I never had been my whole life.) But of course it would be fair. Why is 32 years unfair but 33 or 43 or 93 OK? How many years does it take to lead a fulfilled life? None is probably the right answer. It's how one lives it not how long. Now, I am not saying that a person at peace would not be sad to not see tomorrow, but there is a difference between missing something you love and feeling you have been robbed of something that is yours. Ahh attachment.

And now back to editing.

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