My friend and artist Teresa Brazen ran an interesting project, called “What moves you?” She asked various people what gets them going. Here’s what I wrote:
I know this sounds morbidly strange but when I’m bored or frustrated or out of sorts, thinking about dying has a surprisingly positive effect on me. When I realize I will die someday, and try to visualize it, imagining the notion this will all be over, my senses vibrate in a way I can’t explain. It’s a crapshoot to be alive at all, and here I am, born at a time and place where I have a million choices, I can read any book, see any movie, visit any art, make, do and feel more things than 99% of all humans that have ever lived, it’s all there waiting for me, right NOW. Confronting the notion of the end of my own life, as far away as I’d like that to be, is one of my most reliable ways to feel moved in the present. To sit and watch TV or wallow in my own hubristic complaints seems unbelievably dumb. And I don’t like to feel dumb.
Kafka wrote “The meaning of life is that it ends”. Every one of my choices matter because I won’t have them forever. Jim Morrision said “I want to get my kicks in before the whole shithouse goes up in flames” and Horace wrote “Carpe Diem!” If I’m not getting what I want out of my life while I’m alive, or giving to those in need or who I care about before I kick the bucket, when the fuck do I expect to do it?
So there it is. I confess, I’m moved by the idea of my own death. I want to die regret free and the thought of confronting my last moments and having to justify being bored with my own life to myself as I die compels me to make, and passionately appreciate, the choices I make in the now.
What moves you? Leave a comment. If I’m moved by what moves you, I promise I’ll reply :)