Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The transience of life

buddha and shadow (c) Kayar Silkenvoice
this is an audio post - click to play
For years, I've been told that I have a very interesting perspective on life, that my sensualism and my intense enjoyment of the beauty--the everyday sensual immediacy--of life is, if not unique, then unusually well-expressed.

I started this blog with the intention of making public some of these deeply personal written and photographic expressions, because the media is so overwhelming in its attention to, and expression of, the current of negativity running through the world right now. I wanted it to be an antidote.

For all the deeply personal information I've put here, I've tried to address various topics in such a way that anyone could relate to what I was saying. I've been seeking to express what I have in common with others, what all of us have in common--the universality of the human experience. I wanted to show everyone who read this blog to the beauty of their own existence. Reality beauty.

Life is so very beautiful. So very beautiful and so terrifyingly transient.

It is this transience I am addressing today.

I have a sister who is ill. Very very ill. And as her illness has progressed from acute to chronic, as she faces the prospect of a life radically different from the one she had just 9 months ago, she has lost the will to live. She is slowly dying. She is allowing herself to die in a very slow and excruciating way--and she denies it.

And I... I am caught in an ethical dilemma. It is easy for me to say that Life is beautiful. My life is beautiful. My world is beautiful. And it is all the more so for all the suffering I have experienced and witnessed. It is easy for me to be outraged with her for giving up. It is easy for me to urge her to keep trying. But her life is not mine.

My ethical dilemma is this: It is her life, and her choice, I know. But she is not making the choice consciously. She is in denial, both of the seriousness of her condition, and her apathy. And I am torn between respecting her wish--respecting her right to die--and my horror of the death she has chosen. I am being urged to do something more than I have been, to take extreme measures, to intervene. To Intervene.

There is a fine line between interference and intervention. When I ask myself, intellectually, what the difference is, I know it is a gray area. But my heart, oh, my heart knows the difference.

And so, I have grabbed the horns of my dilemma, and committed myself to an intervention that will earn me more verbal abuse and rage from her. I prefer her anger to her apathy. I prefer that she live.

I'm girding my loins to go into battle with a woman for her life. I'm not sure when I'll be able to post again, but I did not want those who follow this blog to continue to be concerned by my sudden silence.


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Anonymous bruce1ace said...


My thoughts and prayers are with you as you tend to your sister.

7:33 PM, August 09, 2006  

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