This blog is based on my image "The Day The World Went Away" (seen above)
“All those moments will be lost in time like…tears…in rain…” - (Roy Batty, from Blade Runner)
It seems some of us can wrap out minds around death, find a way to accept it and live with it, and perhaps some of this is due to religion or belief in the afterlife. Remove anything other than proof or fact though, and all evidence seems to point to the fact that we just…stop.
Nothing more, no continuation.
I think if we are truly being honest with ourselves, we can admit that death is terrifying, and nature’s instinct for survival only supports this imperative to live.
Did you ever wonder, “what will be the last thing I see?” “What sort of day will it be?” “Will I see it coming, or will I be blindsided?”
I almost think a slow fade into senility or dementia would make this inevitable epilogue easier to take, were you are effectively erased from your self awareness little by little, until the erosion is complete and your through line of life experiences is all but gone.
That, to me, is the hardest part to accept: that all these experiences, all these stored and captured moments, will be lost, and then really, whatever was the point of it all in the first place?
Roy Batty in the film “Blade Runner,” perfectly captured the essence of a human terrified of his own mortality - and ironically, he was a replicant in the film, not a human. He wanted to know when he would die, he wanted to know if there was a way to extend his life, he mourned the loss of his life experiences and likened them to “tears in rain.” Towards the end of the film he could feel death coming for him, and he did all he could to keep going a little longer, including self-inflicted pain, screaming, and talking, seemingly keeping his mind intact by force of will against an unstoppable opponent.
I remember my paternal Grandfather in his last few months of his life, appeared to be deeply fearful of his own demise, there was no acceptance, no peace of mind in evidence. He was sick and he knew it.
In my image, we see what appears to be a man sitting on a beach, calmly, as his face is blown away by something unseen. He is holding on until the end, he is keeping his eyes open, holding onto imagery, his senses, his memories and his mind as long as possible, in the face of his own demise. He will not close his eyes and herald darkness willingly - this is his world, the only life he knows, and he wants all he can from it.
I both hope and fear that I will be like him when my time comes.
June 4, 2016