Farley’s Question

Farly asked me a question: if in 2012 you began aging a normal human lifespan… what would you do?

At first it seemed a simple question to answer, but each time I set about formulating a reply I found myself unsure of the easy responses. So many things spilled forth without consideration, as if the sudden realization I had but seventy or so years remaining might somehow erase thirty-five centuries of experience. I suspect the certainty of mortality might change me though I have often purported no fear of my own death- it would be in understanding my time was now finite. Seventy years pass so quickly.

I thought I might marry and have children. There was a time when the desire for mate and family overwhelmed me, but that was long ago and the ages have driven that need from me. Those times I allowed myself to become as a mother to an adopted family did offer a richness and fulfillment of sorts, but they also saddled me with the inevitable grief of parting from those I allowed myself to care for. That pain was not solely my own, often settling upon those I was forced to abandon as the years closed in about us. I found myself wondering if I could bear to be parted from my own children, had I any. Could I be content to die and leave them, never knowing their fate? To know as I passed that their own grief would weigh upon them long after… I must admit the thought of such circumstance is not inconsequential to one who has been party to such events more times than she cares to recount. That this is the accepted fate of men and women throughout time does nothing to mitigate these reservations.

I would not have children. My desire for that lies far in the past and is best left there.

Farly suggested I might seek to record the events of my life, the lessons learned over long decades. I do that to a very small degree in this venue, but I wonder if there is any point to the attempt? In recent correspondence with Hrodgar I offered the following:

I once thought to be a teacher of men, to attempt in some way to share those things I have learned, but in short order it became clear men need to learn for themselves those lessons that define the limits and opportunities of civilization. I am but one voice toiling in anonymity. The lessons I offered were unwelcome and unheeded, perhaps even useless. I am too far removed from the rhythm of the lives of those who surround me, out of synch as it were. Your lives race forward at such a pace should I allow my attentions to wander but a little it seems the culture has warped nearly beyond recognition. I adapt out of habit, but it seems I learn nothing new. The mores shift, the slang changes, but in the end what was alien is revealed to be so very familiar.

I suspect I lack the proper mix of devotion and charisma to be an effective teacher of the human race. It bears too much resemblance to the toils of Sisyphus. I write my words and leave them here. Those who encounter them may make of them what they will.

I have no new adventures to explore beyond this somewhat self-destructive habit of revelation (Yes, Loren, I am mindful of your admonitions- forgive my unwillingness to heed them). Were the yoke of immortality lifted from my shoulders I do believe I would set my affairs in order then find a place both peaceful and beautiful to await my end.

That notion suits me best.

One Response to “Farley’s Question”

  1. That is a good question. I would hate to be immortal, much as you would have reservations about having a finite lifspan. Funny how that works. I guess we all prefer the devil we know, so the saying goes.

    I don’t have regular internet access these days, and I’m not sure the bigger rudeness is addressing an old post, or letting your thoughtful response to my latest comment go unaknowledged. I will go out on a limb and say I still support the war- for the reasons you stated, only I didn’t have them articulated so well in my own mind.