I feel woolly in the head, often. It’s a light, airy feeling, of a benevolent happy detachment, if pushed to analyse. Those are silent, reflective moments I break free in, to float away from the immediate so I can observe the circus in action, all around. I watch the cast, you and me and those others, going about our businesses, as though with the complete certainty that we are here for keeps, alive for eternity.
And then my eyes catch sight of the inanimate world around, more powerful for its relative permanence of existence.
I see the buildings, the roads, the trees…they all existed before my arrival and will outlive me by years. It is odd how my thoughts turn to a world I did not inhabit while watching movie songs of the 50s on TV. Where was I? The world pretty much was alive and kicking without me and will endure long after I am gone.
And yet, paradoxically, it is omnipresent, the sense of misplaced existence in human interaction and engagement, all of it reflecting our seeming belief in the chimera of personal immortality. I am banging out this post on my laptop at this instance, secure in the knowledge that I will be around for a while, to continue posting, to continue teaching, to continue family affairs. I call it the “not me” syndrome. Every one of us is infected with this one. It is Mother Nature’s way of ensuring we can go on with the tough business of living, secure in the belief that it is “not me” Lord Yamaraj has come calling for. Not this once, at any rate!
And so we go trampling over, ignoring, hurting, dismissing at times; acknowledging, engaging, appreciating on rarer occasions. Misfortune falls on other folks, not me. Disaster comes calling on strangers, not me. Acts of omission are foreign features, not mine. Not me. Not me. Not me.
This reassuring self-deception is destiny’s beautiful sleight of the hand. It is the anaesthesia that numbs us just about, so that life can be gotten through in one whole piece. I can’t even begin to imagine the heart break of all our grand ventures, fantastically laid plans, massive egotistic trips; all of it hinging on such transitory and brief human voyage.It is just as good that we have this voice in the head sibilating, “Not me!”
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