Risk Factors

James Gandolfini is dead, says the Internet. He was in Rome with his 13 year old son. That is too young to lose your Dad. My heart goes out to that boy, and to the man’s family and friends. 51 is too young to die.

Gandolfini was born in 1961, as was I. We have more than that in common. Risk factors; I’m sure you understand. So I turned away and looked to my blogs, and found Neil Gaiman writing about the death of his friend Iain Banks, who died of gallbladder cancer recently.

Regular readers of Metaphor may recall my post last month, about my own struggles with the gallbladder. Damnable, bilious little thing. I can’t wait to have it out and gone! But I’m perforce working to lose weight first, to reduce the risks of anesthesia.

By Heaven, it will set a man to pondering.

Remember me as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I,
As I am now, so you will be,
Prepare for death and follow me.

But you know what? Death is really hard to look at, straight on. You have to come at it holding a mirror at an angle, or a shard of broken glass, and pretend not to be looking at all. The greatest common denominator, and the real traffic of all writing and most of human creativity, is elusive in daylight.

Here’s a video, a song for those going on ahead. And may the judgment not be too heavy upon us.

 

OK, here’s another song. This one is for me, maybe for you.

 

Because the sea is good for doing what it does, for cleaning up and washing all away. But the graveyard accepts and is patient, keeping watch, letting the years pass slowly in silence and in light.

— From my flash fiction piece, A Shadow Or A Dream

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2 thoughts on “Risk Factors

  1. I liked your writing about this very much. You are so right – death is easier to look at sideways. But every once in awhile it sneaks up on you, like a memo note someone has left on your bedside table: I am going to die. Just not let it be too soon.

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