THIS LITTLE LIFE

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Saturday, 26 June 2010

Immortality

An ouroboros tattoo
ouroborosnounvariant spelling of uroboros .uroboros |ˌ(y)oŏrəˈbôrəs| |ˈjʊərə(ʊ)ˈbɒrəs| |ˈjʊrəˈbɔrəs| (also ouroboros)nouna circular symbol depicting a snake, or less commonly a dragon, swallowing its tail, as an emblem of wholeness or infinity.
So I have this thing about immortality. Perhaps most people do. I don't go mad to read about vampires and other immortal beings constantly, but one of the things I do enjoy about vampires is that they get to live forever, mostly. I can sympathise with Voldemort, because he wanted to achieve immortality - I think I probably would be more like Voldemort than Harry. Or perhaps I'd be more like Nicholas Flamel, and achieve my immortality by less macabre means than the Dark Lord - drinking an elixir of life would probably be preferrable to killing people in order to split my soul.
It's one of the things that makes me the most sad, knowing that we have to die, and that we get such a short time to play in this life. I don't know whether there is any kind of life after death - I very much doubt it, I find the concept of a human soul very difficult to swallow - but I dearly wish that there was. It's a horrible and sad thought that the world will continue without us after we die, hurtling towards its own death that lies a few billion years in the future. I wish I could stick around for all of those years and find out how the story ends. Was there a Dr Who episode in which he witnessed Earth's last day? Well, I would love to be there for that (Earth's last day, not the Dr Who episode). I think I'd like to be like an ancient and wise librarian, and be there by the side of our world's death bed, to make sure that everything that had ever been written down was kept safe. It's never a pleasant thought to have, that of knowing that one day everything we have ever done or created will be gone. It will become star dust again. Although, at the same time, it's a beautiful thought. That we exist at all is incredible, like a brief and beautiful flash of brilliance in time and space.

I was thinking of immortality when I was reading my book, The Midwife Trilogy by Jennifer Worth, last night. The characters she writes about in the book, all Cockneys who lived in the 1950s, were all real people. It's not a work of fiction, though it's written in the style of one. But I was noticing how the people she writes about, who touched her life in some way, come to life when I read them. I see those people as clearly as if I had known them myself, the writing is so vivid and alive. I've never cried so much over a book as this one, some of the stories are so tragic. That made me think about immortality. I can't live forever really, but my words can bring me back to life after I'm dead. Someone might read what I've written and be able to see and hear me for a little while, and I'll be alive again, in some small way. I don't know why, but that feels important to me. Even if the only people who read my words in decades to come are my children, and maybe my grandchildren and so on, the thought of that makes me very happy. I don't want my fifteen minutes of fame, because it doesn't really mean anything, not really. I just like it when I write something and it makes someone smile. I would like to think that someone, even just one person, way in the future might read something about me and might say to themselves 'I wish I'd known her'.

That'll do :)


2 comments:

  1. I think you will be passed on through legend Linda! Your great great great great great grandchildren, will research your family tree and say how cool was Linda - she was a free spirit and a writer and she was crazy fun to be with :0)

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