Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The most unlikely companion

Ever watch the movie Meet Joe Black? A clever depiction of one man facing death...literally...then being asked to be a guide for death who has decided to learn about life.

Death describes himself and what he wants from the main character, William Parrish;
*Just think of millenniums multiplied by eons compounded by time without end. I've been around that long. But it's only recently your affairs here have piqued my interest. Call it boredom. The natural curiosity of me the most lasting and significant element in existence has come to see you.
*I want to have a look around before I take you.
*Show me around, be my guide. And in return you get...
*Time: minutes, days, weeks, lets not get encumbered by detail, what matters is that I stay interested.
Seeing death through this lens is certainly intriguing.  After all, what would you do if it was your time but you were given a reprieve to help death on its quest for knowledge? On the one hand it buys you time (?) On the other hand it reminds you that you have very little of it left. Meet Joe Black personifies death and in a strange way makes you almost like it.  The writers are brilliant in the way they have death engage with humans.  On one level death is ominous because it is, well, what it is. On the other hand, death is humbled by its experience in a human body and becomes relatable.

I'm  not quite sure what I would do if placed in such a precarious position.  Panic, cry, negotiate, demand a recheck are not out of the realm of reactions.  I do think however if I could honestly live each day as though death was my companion everything (and I mean everything) would have an even greater meaning and appreciation. Problem is that life as we know it keeps us from being aware of it (death that is) and so it quickly passes us by. 

William Parrish says it well when he is asked to let death join his family for dinner
*When I introduce you, and I tell them who you are, I don't think anyone will stay for dinner.

Yes that sums it up, the further away we get from it maybe it will forget us. Thing is, it doesn't forget. I'm not suggesting that we dwell on death. No, that would only consume and detract from living. Just think about it, make changes in your life, actions, reactions and just be, because as William Parrish and many others have come to realize
* ...years. Don't they go by in a blink?

*quotes from 

1 comment:

  1. Angela, this is so powerful and so well written. Anyone who has ever had a near-death experience has gone through an acute "awareness" period afterward, but it fades with time. If only we could carry it with us forever we would learn to savor.
    Rosy Prose