Here today.

April 1, 2012 § 24 Comments

Begin with the assumption that God exists.

Although this post is not an argument in favor of a Creator God, I am fairly certain there is one.

My belief springs not from faith but from being a creator myself. The labor of building a fictive world is intense.

Imagine imagining and constructing a functional universe that actually exists.

I know the argument that given enough time, monkeys with typewriters could write the plays of Shakespeare. But, having worked at the Baltimore Zoo when it was under the directorship of the flamboyant Arthur Watson, I have practical experience with monkeys and typewriters.

Testing the theory, the director had monkeys type and then set humans to work circling words. Whole pages would go by with nothing circled. The handful of words that did appear were hardly impressive: at, on, go, it, and even those words were gleaned from long strings of random letters.

This universe is too complex, interconnected, clever and humorous to be the work of random monkeys. At some point you have to give Shakespeare credit.

So, begin with my assumption that God exists and is the source of all that is in your life: sunny days, chocolate, warm hands, green leaves, naps, immortality—

Wait…what?

Immortality?

Everything else on that list is verifiable, tangible, a bird in the hand.

The inclusion of immortality, while it has some basis in the accounts of the life of a man named Jesus, cannot be proven.

Still we want it, even claim it as the gold watch awarded for years of faithful service.

To me, immortality sounds like a greedy human addition to the list. In demanding immortality we are like the kid who tears the paper off a whole bunch of really cool Christmas presents and then gets mad because Santa didn’t include a pony.

Would the gift of life be paltry if it really ended with death? Would you have turned down that gift had you known the batteries would last for just so long and that you couldn’t get any more?

Scale back the definition of immortality and you realize, here, in this life, we do have a modest but verifiable form of continued existence. Our genes swim on through the generations. The people we have influenced share what they learned from us. Our stories, especially if they’re good ones, persist.

A life, like a rock dropped in water, sends out ripples.

“Yeah, but what good does it do me if I no longer exist?

None.

But does the fact that life is finite negate the gift?

If God exists you have been the beneficiary of infinite generosity, but you are just one scintilla in a stream of creation.

Even I, a stringer of words,understand that the impulse of creation moves on.

As you read this we are riding the crest of a living story, but teeming all around us are new lives that will snatch the story and rush with it into a chapter we may never read. That the story goes on, although we as individuals may not, comforts me.

I hope for immortality. Reincarnation would be my preference because I love this earth.

But if this is it, I remain grateful.

Note: I drafted this post sometime last weekend. On Tuesday I was in a car wreck and spent the rest of the week in the hospital with a broken pelvis. It will be a long time before I am the mobile, carelessly alive person I was when I wrote this post. My theoretical contemplation of mortality became very real but did nothing to diminish my gratitude.

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§ 24 Responses to Here today.

  • craig reeder says:

    please do not try testing the immortality theory behind the wheel again. if you were to lose that bet, your blog readers would be PISSED!

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  • I’m nothing special. I love deeply, care completely, do what I can, and fall short most of the time. Our existence is saturated with colors and tastes, scents, words and sounds that will live on and hold deep meaning long after I, and all who remember me, have turned to dust. A thousand years from now a young man will hand his lover a red rose and she will smile at its color, inhale its scent, touch its velvety petal, and feel the same love a young woman in the same situation today would feel. The woman and the man of either time will not be immortal, but the scent, color, touch and meaning of the gifted rose will be. If an individual can not surpass the staying power of something as simple as a rose, what hope do they have of reaching immortality?

    I have no pressing desire to be immortal; what my full heart craves is to be wholly immersed in and absorbing this beautiful gift of life.

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  • Your life has meaning to me, Adrian, and everyone fortunate enough to read your work. I am beyond grateful the light pole gave way in place of you.

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  • Dear Adrian,
    I’m so sorry to hear that you were seriously injured and hope your recovery is quick and complete. I enjoy your posts so much, I selfishly hope that you can continue writing them.
    mimi

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  • lcjameson says:

    So inspired, Adrian, and of course so sorry to hear about the accident — very, very relieved to know that you’ll be OK eventually but I know it will be an un-fun road you’re traveling for sometime. Thanks for the inspiration, and I agree with your assessment of how we achieve “immortality” — by the genes we pass along and the influence we’ve had on those we affected during our lifetime. Be well and know MANY are thinking of you!

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  • lcjameson says:

    Thanks for the inspiration, Adrian! So sorry to hear about the accident, but I’m glad you are eventually going to be OK, though the road you’ll travel for a while will be unfun. I agree with what you said about immortality — love the analogy of the Christmas presents and the expectation of the pony. We do live on both in the genes we pass along and the ways we affect — negatively as well as possibly — others. Be well and know that MANY are keeping you in their thoughts.

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  • kathy fowler says:

    get well wishes from all the Fowler family Adrian

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  • Strength to your sword arm Adrian, your writing arm.

    We cheer you every day.

    Thank you for writing this post.
    What timing it was to have written that before the accident.
    You are amazing, writing the postscript so soon after an upheaval that I can only imagine.

    This phase of such limits shall pass. Not as fast as you want. Bu you will look up at the sky soon one day & realize close to normal has returned.

    Smiles to you & Ray.

    Like

  • Ellen Witherite says:

    Thought precedes action or does it? This is how both fragile and resilient we whose swirling bits are formed as humans. Patience.

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  • No dancing now, you hear? And do EVERYTHING your PTs and Medicos tell you to do!

    MLS

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  • Adrian,

    I’m wishing you a speedy recovery!

    Jane

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  • Thanks Jane. I’m wishing my blood cells the best these days.

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  • Sue Cronkite says:

    Hi, You’re a survivor and I expect to read more blogs, and before you know it you’ll be dancing too. It’s in your spirit.
    I’ve been here awhile and every day is a jewel I treasure. Right now the birds are singing like crazy. Listen to the birds. They sound happy to be alive.
    I join them in their songs of grateful praise that you survived the crash. Be very careful, smile a lot, and give Ray a big hug.
    Love,
    Sue

    Like

  • KM Huber says:

    I suspect gratitude is as integral to immortality as it is to life, opening up one possibility after another. The experience of being in the physical world is probably energy unlike any other. If we savor each experience for what it is, we know it for always, perhaps immortality resides there.

    I doubt you live carelessly, Adrian, but I do know you live fully. Have returned to this essay more than a few times. It is just beautiful.

    Karen

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    • Thank you Karen. I often revisit your posts as well.

      We old dames are prodigious philosphers–it is one of the gifts that comes with age. It makes the trip so much more than an accumulation of days.

      Like

  • Oh Amy, this is terrible! I’m so sorry. Get well soon.

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