Sunday, 4 May 2014

Death and Music.

Something I read tonight reminded me of that incident I reported on this blog back in its early days – the time when Paddy Connolly and I fought a big rubbish fire in a warehouse full of butane gas containers. For a good half an hour I was constantly anticipating that the butane would blow any minute, and yet I had no fear of being killed. What frightened me wasn’t my death, but the manner of it. I kept asking myself the whole time:

‘Will I be killed instantly, or will I feel the flesh burning off my face before I’m released?’

Why didn’t I fear dying? Was it because, in that critical and very long moment, I knew that death was no big deal? Was it because I was so focussed on keeping the boxes wet and cold while Paddy pushed back the fire that I didn’t have the time to dwell on it? I don’t know.

The next interesting question is why I’m more afraid of dying now, all these years on, than I was then. Is it because I simply have the time to dwell on it? Or is it because the longer you live, the more familiar you become with your present identity and the more reluctant you are to give it up? I don’t know that either. Maybe I’m not yet old enough to know.

More late night thoughts…

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Meanwhile, I took a listen to some songs recorded by Sarah Jarosz tonight. I saw her on a Transatlantic Sessions programme during the winter. The context suggested that she was maybe an Irish or Hebridean colleen (in spite of the surname.) Tonight I discovered that she’s actually from Texas. That’s the closest I can come to an interesting fact.

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The priestess said to me recently: ‘I don’t know what you talk about any more.’ Neither do I, and who’s listening anyway?

2 comments:

Anthropomorphica said...

I often ponder on death and I have wondered that if a person still feels that there are things to be done then there is perhaps, more fear of death. I think I fear it because I don't feel that I live quite to the full.

JJ Beazley said...

Fie on you Melanie, an' you a mere slip of a girl.

As to the point, I'm not so sure. What does 'to the full' mean, and how do you decide when enough is enough? I'm inclined to go the other way and agree with the man who said that 'life is just a matter of passing the time.'

I think what I fear the most is that one day I'm likely to wake up in a different dimension and find that everything by which I've been used to defining myself - people, places, possessions etc - have been taken away from me. I'm hoping I won't care.