Leitmotif

Reason as the Leading Motive

My Death

Posted by Jerry on October 4, 2005

As I write on this blog every so often, I am amazed at what an astounding record of my life, my thoughts, and my experiences this has become. There is intrinsically a part of me in every word on this blog that I have written, and yet every word on this blog, every idea, every form of expression here – be it fiction or non-fiction – has failed to fully capture who or what I am.

I once mentioned to someone that there is nobody in this world who truly and fully knows me. That maybe there are a few that come close to understanding a large part of me, but none who know the extent of every aspect of my life.

I would compare myself to a thrilling work of fiction with 2-3 simultaneous plot lines running towards an as-yet-unknown climax that promises to have numerous permutations of endings and conclusions. That every third or fifth line of the novel if read separately, would be in itself a complete story. And that every new page would be like a new twist, and a new direction in the plot of the novel, and that the book in its entirety would be one huge intellectual labyrinth that one will find oneself lost in.
That if you looked closely enough, you might find patterns of anagrams that seek to be deciphered, but shield an undercurrent of consistent themes.

I can only imagine that if all these distinct and separated aspects of my life were to be brought together and were forcefully fused into a finite framework of observation, it would reveal itself as being more baffling than the most sophisticated equations in 11-dimensional string theories.

The paradox of death is that it is at the same time an end as it is a beginning.
It is an end to one’s self. But it is a beginning of everything about that person.
The person dies. But his story only just begins to be told.

When I die, there will be no more of me.
But when I die, what will begin is an unraveling of me.

The only regret I will have of dying is the beginning of that unraveling before the eyes of my mother. Among other things, I believe she will be deeply and irrevocably agonized upon her discovery of my atheism.
More than anything else, I believe that will be her biggest torment: that she was not able to deliver the soul of her own son to God. Because, according to her innocent beliefs, she carries full responsibility for the fate of her children’s soul, such that the fate of her own soul is squarely dependent upon it.
It will be an unbearably agonizing experience for her to realize that her only son rejected her most fundamental beliefs. That she failed as a Christian woman to instill even the smallest vestiges of faith in me.

And so, in that pain that I know she will have to come to bear, I find myself troubled too. Troubled and pained to a certain extent, though much lesser than what I know she will have to experience. The only solace I have is in the ultimatum of death: the fact that death is truly the end. That even suffering dies with the person. And so, the peace I carry in my heart is that thankfully there is nothing beyond death for my mother to have to go through – no eternity of existence where she will be reminded of the loss of her son, where she will carry the shame of her failure – because death will offer her the most silent and serene stillness of all… and in that, I am glad death will be the end.

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16 Responses to “My Death”

  1. innommable said

    It’s so disturbing to me that one of the most brilliant minds that I have had the good fortune of knowing, will die at some point, and not because I don’t realize that we must all die, but because I think of the great loss. I don’t like thinking of your death Ergo. What a loss that would be!

    “There are many that I know and I know it. They are many that I know and they know it. They are all of them themselves and they repeat it and I hear it. Always I listen to it. Slowly I come to understand it. Many years I listened and did not know it. I heard it, I understood it some, I did not know I heard it. They repeat themselves now and I listen to it. Every way that they do it now I hear it. Now each time very slowly I come to understand it. Always it comes very slowly the completed understanding of it, the repeating each one does to tell it the whole history of the being in each one, always now I hear it. Always now slowly I understand it.”
    from The Making of Americans (1925), Gertrude Stein

  2. *has nothing to say; is quiet*

  3. Ergo Sum said

    Damn! You people are acting like as if I’m dead already!!! HELLLO!?!! I’m still here… ALIVE and KICKING! 😉

    P.S. Thanks for the flattery, Innommable…”one of the most brilliant minds” you have know… that’s high praise! But yea.. it’s true. 😉

  4. the cockiness shatters the efffect just a bit

  5. Patrick said

    Ergo,

    This is a highly inappropriate place to be writing this, but I have no other way of contacting you. I saw your comment yesterday on innommable’s blog, and I know you and he are good friends (I think he even called me on Saturday from your phone). With a little work, I was able to find out this morning where he is… if you would like to know, or if you have any more information, PLEASE email me – pgmnyc@gmail.com. I’m very worried about him.

    Apologies for the gaucheness of this maneuver,

    Patrick

  6. oh, no. is he ok?

  7. Patrick said

    Calabrizella,

    I sure hope so. I also hope Ergo knows more… I only know where he is…

  8. is it a bad place, like is he safe i mean?

  9. Ergo Sum said

    Wow! I didn’t know my little post about “Death” could have such DRAMATIC involvements and interpretations!! haha!

    Okay.. to set the whole issue straight. Innommable is OKAY. I think what happened, he needed — just so he could get a jolt of reality (as I mentioned to you, Sasca)…

    Patrick, it’s so awesome and sweet that you were so concerned about his well-being… I do not mind, OR CARE, one bit of your “maneuvers” to get to me.

    So, yeah… everything is fine. He is probably in the safest place he can be!! lol! 😉

  10. Patrick said

    Well, whew! Thanks so much for putting my mind at ease, and let me know if there’s anything I can do to help!

  11. innommable said

    geez…

  12. Patrick said

    geez? That’s all? This from someone so articulate? I guess we’ll wait for your memoirs to hear more.

  13. ftckn said

    Good site!!!

  14. Sinus said

    Look what your post on death has done!
    This one reminds me of the countless conversations we’ve had on this very topic. in this case, death does seem to be the only solution 😦

  15. Luis said

    Oh the drama! LOL!

  16. Charlotte said

    Jerr, this has got to be one of my favorite posts…if not my favorite [:)]…I keep coming back to it somehow.

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