Mankind may account himself immortal in his thoughts and deeds but it is a small universe after all within which one’s accountable existence seems woefully short as one expends one’s strength and powers as a matter of the fact that nothing lasts forever. The notion of time is relative to the present and the current condition of one’s being. In youth the Sun and the stars seem entirely reachable. Yet in age, the physical limit of a flight of stairs, once vaulted in former times, utterly impassable. The transformation of vitality to infirmity in the gradual decay of the flesh, humbling to any possessed of a ageless mentality. The enigma of an unchanging present tense presents a sense of true passion in the sufferance of such malediction and one’s dignity is based on the manner of their acceptance of its inevitability.
The passing of the animating force of one’s being so many times unceremonious and poorly scripted. The kindest portrayal of one’s passing along the lines of Jaques Louis David’s portrait of Socrates but unfortunately more symptomatic of a portrait of Otto von Bismarck by 19th century paparazzi, Max Priester. The legacy of most being one’s most cherished enterprises ending up unrecognized or squandered by the those still extant and in a position of disposition of same. The ultimate folly being found mentally riding a caravan of camels fully loaded down towards a celestial needle. The most absented personage in Western thought not the youthful imago of God but the Grim Reaper. The humility of one’s mortal efforts is wholly absent in a cult that worships eternal longevity.
Theater is posed in three acts as is the majority of cinematic tales. These mental canisters seem fit for the measure of one’s existence not so much in terms of age or physicality but in one’s active connection with the exterior world. The world society seems obsessively transfixed by the building of vertical monuments that rise ever higher but like the ancient deity, Osiris are eventually emasculated by passing years and waning popularity. All one seems left with is the appreciation of the insoluble mystery of life and death and how one’s memories of former experience match up to the same. If one has led a fulfilling life, then the final years seems pleasant. If on the other hand the opposite is true then the approach to one’s passing yields only regret. Say what one will about the of the lack or urbanity in the philosophy of the Middle Ages, their view of mortality seemed more in line with the nature of existence as it remains even to this day as simple as the breath of inspiration. We live until one day, we are gone.
“We must now treat of youth and old age and life and death. We must probably also at the same time state the causes of respiration as well, since in some cases living and the reverse depend on this.” – Aristotle 350BC