Here are a few of my favorites from this and the previous week. I’ve been experimenting with scratch-built parameter sets using Mandelbulber…
All JPEG, PNG & GIF images in this post are original works by the author,created by
The title of this post comes from an autobiography by Isaac Asimov published posthumously by his widow, Janet, and brings up a topic I’ve written on very little before: My accident in 2007, about a year before I started blogging.
I was struck by a vehicle while at a crosswalk on my way to a nearby bus stop, planning to do some writing when I got home, though the collision and its several month-long period of recovery weren’t the important part — it was the change in my thinking up until then.
It was, to my perception at the time, a close brush with death — I was pretty messed-up by the accident, though after the stitches for the head injuries, the major damage was a broken arm and fractured hip, both now healed with time and physical therapy.
During my recovery, especially the first ten days of bedrest, I thought long and deeply about life and what it meant — and not once did those thoughts involve a return to anything resembling religious faith.
As I lay on the gurney in the ambulance, on the way to the hospital only moments after being struck, I was aware that this could be it, that this could be my end. But fear of death wasn’t involved — I was angry.
I was angry at this inconvenience that would set my writing project back months, angry at my not seeing the car before it struck me, and concerned about how this would affect my family.
If this was what it is like to die, then it wasn’t so bad. I just sat back and relaxed, and let the paramedics do their job. I might come out of this, I thought, or I might not. Either seemed perfectly acceptable at the time.
My several-hour stay at the hospital was touch and go, but I survived. And over the next few days I came to this:
Life’s been more than fair to me, much more, I think, than to many others who never had the fullness of existence I’ve had.
After my accident, it’s not that I fear dying anymore, though it would be a great inconvenience. There’s a lot I would like to do first, projects to complete. It would be irritating, but not frightening, to die sooner.
I don’t fear dying because I’ve no reason to believe in an afterlife, neither hoping for reward in paradise nor fearing perdition in an imagined (and as far as I’ve reason to think, imaginary) eternal torture chamber.
But even then, life has been very good to me, and I think it has a lot going for it. There is much good to be done, much to accomplish, and life is precious, made more so with my relinquishing any belief in reward or punishment to come after.
To repeat the title, it’s been a good life, and I thank all those I’ve known, friends and family, online and real-time, past and present, for making it so.
But when I’m gone, that’s it. Lights out. No more me. Anywhere.
When I’m gone, the energy content stored up in my body’s molecules will go back to their source, returning to the Earth and the Cosmos whence they came.
Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but that doesn’t imply anything spiritual, not in a supernatural sense.
But it’s cool that the atoms I’m made of, which cycle in and then out of my body even now, have almost an immortality of a sort, and will eventually find their way into the bodies of new life arising long after my death. And you know what?
I think that’s kind of neat.
Right now I’m in one of my unfortunate evil, snarkitundinous and thoroughly bastitchy moods, and I have my doubts right now that anyone is as upset about this as I am, even those of you who might care:
A perfect storm of situations and events this month, when I had planned to sign up for the summer semester of online courses at a local college, will keep me from doing so at least until the Fall enrollment schedule is open.
A whole semester to delay things.
Far too long.
But worse, I feel like I’ve let down those who’ve offered encouragement for my continuing education efforts.
But until the next semester opens, I’ll continue my education at home, online with the best academic sources I can find, and a series ofcourses I’ve yet to take and also those I’m taking now and have yet to complete.
I said far too long, but perhaps just enough to finish what I have with me and what I can find online. I do have an account on the website of the college, so once the hounds of academia are released during the Fall, I’ll have everything prepared.
In the meantime, I’m going to post reviews of those courses I have on digital media, adding that to the other content on this blog, which should help brighten my mood a bit.
Perhaps this isn’t so bad, but I’m far from happy about it right now.