Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter, Agnostic Style

I am not a Christian for reasons both numerous and varied. I also do not like Easter Egg hunts, and I can not have Easter candy because it has made me the tub of lard that I am today. Therefore, I decided to blog about an agnostic Easter. There is no one in the wide, wide world that is stepping up to the hero podium for today, and as I have said the show must go on. Today being Easter, is all about death and resurrection. I do not much about coming back from the dead, but I have spent a fair amount of time pondering getting that way. Not that I plan on it anytime soon, but my father, and two of my close friends fathers have died this year, and so today's little post is going to be about death. Sorry for the uplifting topic, but you can stop reading now if you wish. I have always thought that dying was one of the few things that a person does entirely alone. We all die, and in my view we all die alone. To me it doesn't matter if you die surrounded by your loved ones in a hospital bed, or in a fiery plane crash along with 200 strangers, your death, at the time it happens, happens alone. I recently finished a book by Gregor von Rezzori entitled "The Snows of Yesteryear," and it is a wonderful book. It is a memoir of his family, and the effects the family had on his life as an adult. He had a sister that died very young, and the following quote is from the chapter dealing with his father's attitude towards his child's death. His father did not visit his dying daughter, respecting her discipline in dying, a discipline that he shared when his time to die came. Von Rezzori speaks of that discipline in the following way.

"It was based on the sober conviction that dying is a strictly private matter that cannot be shared with anyone, and that the pain is only sharpened if one allows this ultimate and most revealing manifestation of one's innate archsolitude to be witnessed by the one person whose love enabled one, fleetingly, to deceive oneself as to its inescapability." -Gregor von Rezzori "The Snows of Yesteryear"

Read that sentence through a couple of times, and then ponder it for about a month. I read it about two weeks ago, and am still haunted by it. It is, perhaps, one of the greatest sentences I have ever read, and I read some fantastic authors. It sums up in less than a paragraph, all you need to know about how to die. It explains why I think that dying is something that can only be done alone. I wish I could say it better, but I can't, and I don't need to. Part of being clever (and I like to think I am clever) is knowing when you have found the best tool/quote for the task at hand, or for the feeling you wish to convey. I could write this post for 10 more years, and I would not come anywhere near to von Rezzori's insight. And so, it is with that in mind that I leave it to you, dear reader, to ponder that quote, and see if you think it is as lovely as I do or not. All I can do is leave you with that thought, and with the apology for today April 4th, there is no hero of the day.

1 comment:

Cynnie said...

but i dont want to die alone , i want to lay there dying and just feel the presence of someone who gives a shit about me