By Parson Thru
What sights have these olive trees known? What sounds?
Today, the tranquility of a museum patio; the fountain’s soothing trickle. In years past, these walls housed an asylum.
Summer is early. It’s hot. Hot enough for a thick smear of sun-cream on my receding forehead / afthead.
N has gone again. Adventurous N. Interesting, far-flung N. We’ve made our promises. Life is a collective experience, lived singly and in unison. We play-down the risks. Danger is everywhere. Who knows where the next madness will appear? Perhaps in this garden. Who knows what violence is biding its time within our own bodies? What plots are being hatched?
Death is everywhere.
Picasso saw the world, in all its monstrosity, through the wide-open eyes of a child. Today, crowds mill in front of the demon-filled roomscape of his Guernica. Across the patio, the face of Delaunay’s Tzara oozes its knowledge of pain and death.
Optimists long to vanquish such contemplations, but they’re losing their grip. Demon reality is once again peeling the veneer from a world that more closely resembles the scarred and broken, twisted limbs of an olive tree.
The optimist would have us deny death and face each new dawn as though it were our first, in a permanent state of cognitive ecstasy. But what would we accrue from the years?
Each day of life brings us closer to death. Each brush with mortality prepares us.
Denial is a falsehood that will be revealed one way or other. Better to live with mortality than deny it. Better to know the truth than to fear it. The final shock of revelation has the potential to negate a falsely-lived life.
Death, when it comes, should not be a stranger.