Old Ethan’s quantum diary: a reading

I do not want to die.

Categories: Arts/Literature

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5 replies »

  1. I am 68. Dad died at 91. Mom is 89 and breathing. Your poem refocuses my fears about death (When I die, will it hurt? Who will miss me? How much time do I have left? Damn it, is there a God?) to trying, in Michael Valentine Smith’s word, to “grok” it. I cannot. I cannot even remember the point at which my mind recognized my eventual mortality. So concern about death, inevitable as it is, just lies about, like the rest of the clutter on my desk, waiting to be dealt with.

    Thus is the power of your poetry, Sam. Thank you.

    • It’s been a long time since I entertained the notion that there was a god. But science has a lot of interesting things to say – humans are energy and energy can’t be destroyed. But that doesn’t mean that our consciousness coheres – that word is central to the poem and to my self-torment. But then you start thinking about quantum mechanics and multiple universe theories and it gets weird. If I get hit by a car today, there are plenty of universes where I don’t get hit and go on living. And universes where I got hit years ago and have been dead since. And we have no sense that there is transit between the universes.

      This is how my fucking brain works. I won’t say I don’t understand the allure that most people find in simple religious answers, no matter how silly they may be. Many days I could probably benefit from the lowered stress level….

      • In lieu of questing for the likely unobtainable answer, may I suggest you continue your exceptional investigation of regional beers and ales?

  2. “Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” and “When a cloud dies it becomes rain.”. -Thich Nhat Hanh.
    I would highly recommend reading his book “Touching Peace”. Jim and I just finished it so you can get his thoughts on it as well.