dying

“A possible result could be catastrophic”

I was talking to a doctor yesterday about Pericarditis and he said that one possible result could be catastrophic. I was well aware of that possibility, but I thought it was an unusual word for a doctor to use.

That being said, it does sound more powerful than you could die. A lot of people say, “You could die doing <fill in the blank>,” so maybe that phrase has lost some power, where “catastrophic” isn’t used that often to talk about one’s health.

Live full, die empty

“We don’t take any days for granted,” said Pagano, 58, whom the Bears hired in January. “Every day that we get, we try to kick its ass, take full advantage of it. If you get another one, we’re going to do the same thing the next day.”

“‘Live full, die empty’ is the motto now.”

~ from this story on Chuck Pagano

Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume

I’m surprised that nobody I know knows the story Tiger Eyes, either the book by Judy Blume or the movie based on the book.

Probably the main theme of the book is about people who are afraid. Presumably they’re afraid of dying, and the result is that they’re afraid of living. Meanwhile, a teenage girl who has good reason to be afraid encounters these people who are afraid of life, and eventually realizes that a fear of life is no way to live. Despite a horrific thing that has happened in her recent past, she makes a conscious decision to live her life.

The real you is timeless and beyond birth and death

“The real does not die, the unreal never lived. Once you know that death happens to the body and not you, you just watch your body falling off like a discarded garment. The real you is timeless and beyond birth and death. The body will survive as long as it is needed. It is not important that it should live long.”

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Joe Armstrong: Why OO Sucks

Famed programmer Joe Armstrong passed away this weekend. He created the Erlang programming language, based on the actor model, and without using Google, I’m pretty darned sure that Erlang had an impact on Akka, the very cool actor library for Scala. Here’s an article Mr. Armstrong wrote some years ago, titled, Why OO Sucks (OO as in OOP).

I never did get that cup of coffee

Last year Friend #1 died, so I ended up staying at Friend #2’s house. When I woke up she was already out of the house, so I started to walk to the coffee maker to make some coffee. At that moment Friend #3 called. I looked at the coffee maker for a moment, then thought, “It will wait a few moments,” so I turned around, picked up the phone, and found a quiet spot to sit down.

At one point I started talking about something and #3 said, “I’m sorry, I can’t hear you.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I just woke up, so I kinda cleared my throat and started talking louder. We had a good, honest conversation, the kind you only have when it’s late at night and people are tired and maybe have a little liquid courage and speak from the heart, or in this case that raw time right after someone has died.

When I was watching a show just now with two dead guys talking to each other I remembered that conversation, and also remembered that I never did get that cup of coffee.

Steve Jobs: “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon”

In terms of being a nice person, Steve Jobs may have been the worst Buddhist in the history of the world, but he captures the Zen/Buddhist essence in this quote:

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Photo from forbes.com, words from Steve Jobs.