i am not one to jump on the RIP bandwagon with social media posts and tributes to dead artists and celebs. actually, i take that back. when adam yauch died i did change my cover photo.
regardless, it does get one thinking when a seemingly immortal voice like david bowie expires. one can’t help but face facts that some time in the not too distant future we too shall go.
and in all likelihood the entire world won’t mourn. (not that it would matter if they did). very very few will notice. and over time the record of our existence will drift into oblivion. the rich and poor, famous and obscure alike – we’re all headed to the same place. it reminds me of a poem by Spanish poet Jorge Manrique: “Coplas por la muerte de su padre.” I had to memorize and recite it for one of my Spanish classes in college. This stanza has always stayed with me:
Nuestras vidas son los ríos que van a dar en la mar, que es el morir; allí van los señoríos derechos a se acabar y consumir; allí los ríos caudales, allí los otros medianos y más chicos, y llegados, son iguales los que viven por sus manos y los ricos.
in other words, death is the great equalizer. it’s helpful to think of when you get overwhelmed with life’s injustices. or just to give you a kick in the pants to do whatever it is that deep down you want to do. because time is short and in the words of ram dass,
“we’re all just walking each other home.”