Tuesday, February 9, 2010

40. When your number's up


There’s little justice in longevity. No rhyme or reason to how many years you have on this earth, no pattern to your going. There may be individual actions that truncate life-span, like drug abuse, obesity or suicide. There might be inherited characteristics that limit life-span, like genetic predisposition to debilitating disease. There might be a preordained fate towards which individuals hurtle, like car accidents or earth quakes. There might be a malevolent, vindictive deity keen to wreak havoc on the human race, individual by individual.

But I doubt it.

My father, currently in his 89th year, is the second of four. My uncle, currently in his 91st year, is the oldest. They had a younger brother who died, aged 30 the victim of a preordained fate. They had a younger sister, who died, aged 43 the victim of obesity and epilepsy.

When your number is up, you simply shuffle off.

6 comments:

diane said...

Are we feeling a bit morbid today??I hope my number isn't up for a while. When it comes up I hope it pops up quickly and not rise ever so slowly, dragging up an undignified, miserable appearance.

Julie said...

Yes, I think so. This is the story that popped out, but not the reason for the "depression". Also, every so often, I want to toss an "opinion" piece into the mix.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Whew I'm glad ... I was wondering if you were OK.
It was such a contrast to the earlier pieces but as an "opinion" piece it fits.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Julie, re the poem in the Sydney post, I actually quite it and having understood the background of the poet see it had deep resonance for him.

For the reader however for it to having lasting impact on habits rather than a short spirt of inspiration it would need to be revisited often -- as does the Bible and motivational writings.

Haven't got time to absorb today's Riff, I've got visitors so will get back to it in a day or two when things are quieter. Working from home its hard to fit in work as well as visitors. I find myself burning the mid-night oil just to keep work tasks running on schedule.

Vicki said...

I read this and felt a quiet despair.

Julie said...

Strangely, that is good.

I want the pieces to stand on their own, without being filtered through my own family experience. So, the next few riffs will extemporise on the same concepts, endeavouring to avoid the specific and drill down (up?) to the general.