Thursday June 25th, 2009

The exercise:

The starter for today is: in passing.


Wow, it's been quite the week in the world of celebrity deaths. Ed McMahon. Farrah Fawcett. Michael Jackson.

I have no real attachment or emotional investment in any of them but those are three iconic figures of my childhood right there. Gone.

I'm not one to get caught up in celebrity news or gossip or whatever. I know that thousands of people die every day, all over the world. But it feels strange, especially in the case of Jackson, knowing that someone that grew up on television in front of the whole world has passed away. At the age of fifty, no less.

I'm feeling old today.


Greg said...

I was woken up around 3am to be told that Michael Jackson had died. I wasn't terribly impressed, that could definitely have waited till morning. All the jokes are doing the rounds this morning though :)

In passing

Like ships in the night,
Or co-workers in the hallway,
We were always just passing by.
We'd stop for a moment,
Exchange salient words,
Always just "In passing..."

And then your ship sank,
A rift grew in the hallway between us,
And "In passing" became the exchange
Of letters between lawyers,
Of angry words left on voicemail,
And finally a restraining order.

Marc said...

Oh, I'd be all kinds of unimpressed with that. I think waking in the middle of the night should be saved for family and friend emergencies and deaths.

"Like ships in the night,
Or co-workers in the hallway,
We were always just passing by."

Hah, I quite like that.

Anonymous said...

from my blog,,

Joe’s Final Journey

“If I get like that,” she said, “I’m gonna visit that Dr Nietchke,” she completed. Her bald statement greeted the air with a bluntness that beckoned no further discussion, although I was tempted to rebutt - not with a counter-argument, as such, but with a better qualifier.
Hadn’t she noticed what the old people do when their time is approaching?
Joe was one. It was subtle, but there, all the same. 
Joe had had a good enough life, a big life, a life full of activitiy and loving, good food and wine, travels across the globe and grandchildren. In terms of living a life, his picture was complete, but just before the last piece of the puzzle was put into place, life robbed him, just a little. In a few short years (but eons to Joe) he’d been visited by the ’ageing’ demon - a heart attack, a slow growing cancer, a few very small strokes (tactfully called TIAs these days by those in medical authority over us) - all of which contributed to a slight dementia as his mind started to vacate his body. 
There came a time when Joe had to go into care. These years of demise weren’t going quickly enough for him. This is the hard part - why couldn’t he just have a large stroke and get it done? Over, quick as a flash...? But life wasn’t always that kind. Maybe karma was catching up with him, after all or, maybe, that’s just B.S.
So Joe was in his bed. Weeks went by full of nothing. 
But I observed him briefly in this time. Each time the food tray arrived he pushed it away with a resounding “No!” and a surprising strength of arm.
Joe could be insistent.
Several weeks later Joe’s wish came true. What he’d been begging for to his unseen I-am-not-a-believer-in-a-deity had been granted, (although I suspect there was neither magic nor divine intervention at work here). Joe’s body, for its lack of food, finally and inevitably gave up the ghost. 
(He’d had the wherewithall to ensure no feeding tubes or other nonsensical trappings for extending life beyond the reasonable would be exercised by legally signing a health directive whist he was still well.)
Joe couldn’t travel to see some doctor who had the guts to assist the terminally ill to leave this mortal realm, but somewhere in his remaining mind, or in the wisdom of his body, he knew his path would take him to his goal. 
Joe didn’t have to leave a note for the unwary to discover; he didn’t have to pin his death on someone else’s guilty shoulders; he didn’t have to wait for society’s laws to catch up on what should be everyone’s moral right (we treat our animals with more compassion than we do our citizens) - Joe settled his moral accounts with his higher self and inadvertently took the matter into his own hands.
Joe left this world in relative peace, in a natural manner as would befit the aged or infirm. The body knows when the time is near, and acts accordingly. Joe merely responded to that, consciously or not.