Thursday, June 28, 2012
Too Young to Die
Writer, film director, journalist Nora Ephron died at seventy-one. Too young! I thought. But is there any good age to die? Do we say, 'Eighty-nine is a good age to die?' Or forty-nine, or fifty-two? As long as one is not screaming in agony, as long as one is getting some pleasure out of life, there is no good time to die. June, 2012--the cherries have been delicious this year, and with them I like to drink dry white wine. A Graves is good.
I am not calmed by eastern religion or friends who quote serene-sounding classical Chinese poets, who seem to accept death, not that I'm all for raging against the dying of the light in the manner of Dylan Thomas. Rage and you burn yourself out.
One of these Chinese poets writes that losing a tooth is a marker of mortality, a sign that you will soon die. It will take more than a loss of a tooth to convince me I'm about to die.
And please, no one tell me after the death of an old person, 'She had a good life' or 'He lived a long life.' Save those dull so-called reassurances for someone who can bear banality.