Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Dog and The Tiger

I can't believe how stupid and boring my dreams have become lately. Lots of sitting around. Plenty of aimless wandering. Not a whole lot going on (hey, it's just like my life!). At least last night's dream featured an interesting scene that I watched on television in the dream (yes, I even watch television in my dreams--my recent viewing of the Planet Earth series may also have played a part). A badly wounded tiger is howling in pain at the edge of a river. A dog (it looks like a mutt) emerges from the river and approaches the tiger. The tiger wants nothing to do with him. The dog persists. With consoling looks, the dog calms the tiger and coaxes it into the river. The next scene would be hysterical if it wasn't so tragic: with both their heads just above the water, the dog raises its paw above the tiger's head and pushes it down under the water. For a moment, it looks like the dog is baptising the tiger. But it's not. This isn't a baptism, it's a mercy killing. The last image is of the drowned tiger, upright under water, drifting down the river.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Old age

I used to think retirement might actually be something to look forward to. No more shitty job. No more rat race. I'm beginning to think that may be another one of my delusions.

From Philip Roth's Everyman:

But then something unforeseen happened, unforeseen and unpredictable: he had lived close to three quarters of a century, and the productive, active life was gone. He neither possessed the productive man's allure nor was capable of germinating the masculine joys, and he tried not to long for them too much. On his own he had felt for a while that the missing component would somehow return to make him inviolable once again and reaffirm his mastery, that the entitlement mistakenly severed would be restored and he could resume where he'd left off only a few years before. But now it appeared that like any number of the elderly, he was in the process of becoming less and less and would have to see his aimless days through to the end as no more than what he was--the aimless days and the uncertain nights and the impotently putting up with the physical deterioration and the terminal sadness and the waiting and waiting for nothing.This is how it works out, he thought, this is what you could not know.

Old age isn't a battle; old age is a massacre.

Monday, September 03, 2007

A Better Place

There was a lot of talk of my mother being in a better place at her wake and funeral and I can't say I disagree even though my mother and I disagreed about what awaits us after death (yes, we had such discussions; she didn't earn her family nickname "Morbid Mom" for nothing). My mother almost looked forward to the day when she would be reunited with my brother who died in a car accident when he was 24 years old. That was her religious faith, but I saw it as the way she coped with what must surely be the most painful experience a person can endure: the death of a child. And I hope for her that I am wrong and that she got her wish. I don't believe I'll ever see my mother and brother again, and that is why my memories of them are sacred. If they are in a better place it is because they won't have to endure the grief and future loss of family and friends.

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