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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Living Before Dying

I just watched this documentary about Glenn Gould. I'd never heard of him, but he really was a genius. You know that someone is the best at what they do when they can make an impression on a laymen.

Hulu also has a Whitney Houston documentary. I watched Houston's story last night and Gould's tonight. Both stories left me sad and restless. It's not because they were famous and died young. It makes me sad that anyone dies young, when they still have so much to give. Houston and Gould just happen to be known to a lot of us. Gould's talent came through his playing and Houston had that voice. And they are gone. Like the least known or important person ever, they are back to not being with us.

I don't think we pay enough attention to death. If were are happy in our lives, we get complacent. If we are sad, we dwell on the negatives. Maybe we all need to take a moment every morning or evening to realize that we are still here. As long as we are here, we have a chance for things to be good. We can still be good (or better) to each other. We don't have to be famous to be grateful for life.

Some people get all caught up in their personal victories: they're rich or handsome or famous or better than the Jones's. In the end, though, we are all the same when we die. We are going to be a corpse - no matter how famous or rich or beautiful in life - and we are going back to dust. We won't be anything but a spirit when people visit our graves or pay tribute. The fancy car we drove isn't going to remember us or care, but the people we loved and needed will.

I'm not sure where I wanted to go with this post. Maybe I just needed to articulate a reminder to myself that every sorrow or victory is temporary and only matters as much as we let it.  I want to remind myself to savor every good thing and live through any bad thing.