A darkhaired pale lady with an ankh necklace.
A skeleton in a cloak that he somehow manages to never tangle his scythe in.
A tarot card signifying change.
The end of a cycle.
The end of a life.
The end of a year.
We don’t always get to choose when it happens, and I could just as easily be speaking of change as the end of a personal existence.
I have this, in my mind, odd pragmatism about death. I say in my mind because I’m not sure it’s uncommon or even odd to be pragmatic about death. I’m not afraid of it, though I hope it comes unobtrusively after a long and satisfying life, for sure.
There aren’t many constants besides change. Even the speed of light has proven to be a bit more fluid, depending on time, space and application.
But change is consistent. We see it in the simplest terms year to year, season to season. No matter our differences, change happens to us all.
As does death. Though I might be immortal, at least until I die.
And that’s it, the crux of it.
Death is something that happens to other people. I’ve been in a few scenarios where I thought, this might be it! But that was quickly followed by a confidence that, no, this is not where I die. Which may or may not be the thing that kept it from happening. Death was on its way to scoop me up, overheard my insistence that now is not the time, gave a shrug and instead headed for the sweet albeit clumsy teenager who was climbing a ladder in the rain, while holding a metal rod he was using to clean the gutters with an apple in his mouth.
We tempt it all the time. Those close brushes when we’re driving too fast, when we step out from under something just before it falls, when we slip on a sidewalk and catch ourselves just before accidental impaling on a streetcar. But what if those aren’t close calls? What if they’re a call out? A sometimes not so subtle reminder that it doesn’t matter how much time you have, life is short and what are you doing being in such a hurry all the time.
It’s just a ride, enjoy it.