Browsing All posts tagged under »death«

The Magic Bullet of Change

November 20, 2013

77

The word grassy means covered with grass. I’m so certain of that, I didn’t even bother to look it up. The word knoll refers to a small hill. I did check that one. There doesn’t seem to be a precise definition, however. No minimum or maximum height or diameter, for example. No size requirement at […]

Afterthoughts (Part 3)

September 24, 2013

0

And then there was a place called Purgatory. It was where you went if you were too good for Hell, but not good enough for Heaven. At least, not yet good enough. Purgatory was, in effect, a series of waiting areas with gray walls and beige carpeting. Or maybe it was the other way around. […]

Afterthoughts (Part 2)

September 16, 2013

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If Hell was the bottom of existence, a fiery chasm where the despicable and the disobedient sank and settled and stayed forever, then Heaven was the top. Floating above the loftiest peaks and even the highest clouds, it was a place infused with yellow sunlight and immeasurable goodness. All interactions there were calm and devoid […]

Afterthoughts (Part 1)

September 9, 2013

106

I think about the afterlife a lot, mostly because I no longer accept that there is such a thing. The wish is still there, but the conviction has vanished. This process of changing context, of moving from faith to doubt to skepticism, has been long and gradual. There was a time when I was thoroughly […]

My Brain in a Jar (Part 1)

December 22, 2012

72

Recently, fellow blogger Karen asked if I would consider leaving my brain to science. I was flattered by the question, until I realized that such a donation would have adverse effects on my health, and suddenly the idea didn’t seem quite so appealing. Also, science doesn’t spend much time on things it already comprehends, preferring […]

Wondering What to Believe (Part 2)

September 25, 2012

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My grandmother died on March 3rd, 1966. The event struck the family like a cue ball smacking hard against the pack, scattering everyone to distant parts of New York State, and then to the far reaches of the country. Heading northwest out of the Bronx, my immediate family began to adjust to the exotic landscape […]

Wondering What to Believe (Part 1)

September 16, 2012

1

I am like a lot of people. In the beginning, long before I knew what was happening, religion was planted inside of me. Grafted, really. Nourished by holy water and incense, its vines spread everywhere, like ivy growing up around the trunk and along the branches of an evergreen. Soon it was impossible to tell […]

Remember My Name

June 21, 2012

86

Do you have any idea who Alan Rufus was? He was also known as Alan the Red, if that helps, but it probably doesn’t. If I were the one who had to guess, I’d say he was a stand-up comedian, or a low-level gangster, or someone claiming he’d been abducted from his bed in the […]

Dancing, and Related Lessons

December 5, 2011

98

During a recent car trip up and down the East Coast of the United States, I found myself sitting in frequent bumper-to-bumper traffic. Much of it seemed to be caused by nervous drivers who no longer trusted their own reflexes, and who kept one foot on the brake at all times. Often accompanying these hours […]

Hard to Grasp

November 10, 2011

170

On the day of my birth, I was the youngest person in my family. I know this is true for everyone who has ever been born, but I wanted to claim some special distinction, even if just for the briefest moment it took you to realize that there wasn’t anything remarkable about it. The year […]