Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Birth Pangs

Photo by Jskvbinmv, Public domain 
I think I know how philosophy started.

People go through their lives and they accomplish things, they learn things, they enjoy things, they love other people. Perhaps they get married, have kids, make deep friendships, and all of them help each other fight through the hard things of life.

As they move through the years, even as their bodies wear slowly away they are still an amalgam of all those loves and enjoyments and accomplishments. The knowledge, wisdom, skill they absorbed rides around inside them. All this whole experience is them.

And then it's all gone.

All you are left with is an embalmed husk or ashes you can sift through your fingers. And you look at the place where they were, where you saw them day in, day out, and you ask yourself, "How can he not be there? How can all of that be lost in an instant?"

My dad has not been there for a seven months now. As I clean out his house, the old golf magazines he never threw out, the documents left from his work as head of labor relations for a chemical company conjure up unbidden these questions in my mind.

The pangs of death birthed philosophy, I think. One can't help but ask the big, metaphysical questions in the face of mortality.

No comments: