It was an innocently posed question. I can’t remember what we were talking about. It was a cool day here in Los Angeles. It was sunny, but brisk in the shade, with a chilling, blustery, but contained, wind. We were standing and sitting in the shade, but like snakes, we would shuffle over to the sunlight when our the shade began to bring us to shivers. A few moments in the sun would warm us up and we could resume our shady posturing.
What were we talking about?
I think we were talking about a television show, or was it a movie?
It was a movie…!
I think it was Sleepless In Seattle. The subject of our conversation. Don’t ask me how we got there. We then got on the subject of a woman who “falls out of love.”
She explained why the woman fell out of love. She met another man who she loved more. And I nodded because it all made humanly sense. Really.
We are capricious creatures with no real grounding and we happily bounce from passion to passion and in recent generations, have learned to lack the self-sacrifice and selflessness to treasure stability over self-interest. We bounce around like cheap whores chasing the next dime.
It’s our human nature. We don’t need to stick around for long.
Men and women alike. Yet we do stick around. We stick around and Christianize it.
And when I thought of this woman falling out of love, the woman in the movie, it made sense. It was suddenly logical!
For why not fall out of love. Why stay in love?
Our time on this planet is short, I realized. We are fighting mortality in our submission to stability and “long-term” relationships. Our time on this planet is limited and the clock ticks daily. We won’t get another chance. Let’s grab it while the going is good. We stick around because ultimately, sadly, we are not sticking around. We are continuously embarking upon a daily path of destruction, and when the end is so near, we cling to all we can now, in our foreseeable future, and structure our society to cement this arrangement into a long-lasting cultural motifs and expectations.
Don’t leave me, for we are dying.
Such a realization, now hammering me here in the shade, and I suddenly postulated.
“If we were immortal…if people were immortal, how would that affect our relationships and the nature of human love?”
We sat pensively.
All we love, all we seek in others, is implicated and fueled by our mortality. Our time is short, so our institutions, realizing the brevity they are up against, seek permanence, for in permanence, albeit a short, mortal echo of existence, there is a glimmer of grace when the horrific jaws of human mortality bare their foul stench.
I continued. “If we were immortal, would we choose to not be with anyone for eternity? Would we, after 50 years, finally just say enough is enough, it’s time to move on?”
If we were immortal, our lives would be vastly changed.
In the face of eternal life, don’t all human interactions and relationships become “meaningless” and trivial? It’s our short lives, cosmically speaking, which grant our existence and those we congregate to, value. Value is unfolded in the brief and fleeting time we can share on this world. If time were not valuable, ie, immortality, neither would our relationships or co-existence with others.
It’s because of death, in death, that we find love, that we distinctly treasure another’s humble presence in our life. The state of humanness and its concomitant mortality are the base, desperate foundations of the greatest human emotions and attachments.
Feed us eternity and we will be valueless.
The immortals, due to their timelessness, lack humanity and virtue.
Virtue is the stain of death.
The Gods, the immortal Gods, cannot care, for they have no end.