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This is a question Things to do before you die

Sandettie Light Vessel Automatic tells us that his ambition is to a) drive around New Zealand in a camper van; and b) have MASSIVE sex with the original members of Bananarama. Tell us what's on your wish list, and why.

(, Thu 14 Oct 2010, 13:08)
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Well, since I am dying,
This QOTW is sort of a QOML just lately. Yes, yes, we're all dying, and it's not like I'm going quickly but probably faster than you. I enjoy a bizarre autoimmune illness that has tons of inconvenient symptoms which if graphed over the last five years shows a solid downward trend and when projected futurewards gives me a few (3 or 4 maybe) years yet, except that I'm just now entering the more titillating area where sudden oddball flare-ups and infection (pneumonia etc) could do for me very suddenly. Let's just take a moment to feel for my wife in all of this. OK, that's the sad bit done. Could be worse, of course. There could be kids, and all that.

Oh a btw, it's not AIDS; the best and closest diagnostic fit to date is an extreme version of the gorgeously named Scleredema Adultorum of Buschke. It features neither sclerosis nor edema and occurs more frequently in under-25s. Go figure.

To quote Michael Fox re his Parkinson's, "it's a gift". This pissed people off when he said it so he clarified; "It's the gift....that keeps on taking." So now you're expecting all the usual pseudo-enlightenment claptrap about the 'little things', carpe diem and the poignancy of weather, I'll prick that bubble, nurse, and just say two things. Or rather shovel out two categories.

1) All the little things that you lose along the way; they're in fact worse than you thought they were going to be viewed through the usual overly-optimistic way we tend to think about our *own* mortality when confronted with an adverse (if mysterious) prognosis. I knew I'd miss eating when I got the PEG tube, but what I didn't know is that every now and then I'd be assailed by fiendishly powerful cravings for foods I have not only never eaten, but would probably not even have previously liked. Like an open rye bread sandwich with cheese (I think Jarlsberg), caviar, and boiled egg. Yes, I read that Stieg Larssen book. But I also get foody flashes from nowhere. I'd also love to be able to julienne a carrot with my big-arse chef's knife like I used to, even if it's just for a salad for my beloved, and I didn't realise I'd miss doing that when my hands got to the point where it's a hard and dangerous chore, not a joy.

2) So the second category is really just the first, but projected forward. I can no longer enjoy the dream of a four-day ride to the Top End (Aus) on a Moto Guzzi that I'll now never own because I can't ride any more, and this is a thing that's not coming back. You get the idea.

So what is it I really want to *do* before I die? Here's the thing, I already do it, and I shall do a whole bunch more.


Nothing sneaks up on you as a joy. It can happen when you realise for example that you get truly over the losses you incur, and the sense of release and relief when that truth really hits you - you've *changed* - sweeps your feet from beneath you and then just as suddenly leaves you standing in.....nothing. From there, all else seems like part of your nothing too.

Having the mind at zero, as the ho'oponopono guy put it.

This isn't some salve to the ego, or 'make the best of what you can' scenario, where *of course* I go for some sort of spiritual contentment because my future promises to rob me of all the practical or physical possibilities. Or because of the futility of trying to do what one still can while one still can. Nope, beyond all that stuff, this is sincerely a joyous place to be, in nothing, and makes *being* all the more glorious. I'd only known this a few times prior to the last few years. So yes, it's a fucking awesome blessing, and I'll eat this cake too, thanks very much.

So that's what I want, really. Not much, but the meat-ego is at work here too - I want *all* those little things to piss off into nothingness, because for real - you *do* know what you've got before it goes, with a little practice at losing things, and after a time the grief ceases being a lesson or in any way therapeutic. This, too, shall come to nothing. I hope.

Here endeth the lesson. Cheers.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2010, 14:44, 18 replies)
If anything beats this to the top of the popular page,
it will either be a masterful treatise on the condition of human suffering the like of which would make the bastard (and highly unlikely) lovechild of Richard Dawkins and Oscar Wilde weep with envy, or further evidence that the people who click "I like this" are mostly heartless bastards with a bad joke about farting nuns where their sense of human decency should be.

My hat is unequivocably and eternally off to you, sir.

(, Fri 15 Oct 2010, 14:58, closed)
^ ^
What she said.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2010, 15:00, closed)
^ ^
What he said she said.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2010, 15:36, closed)
^ ^
What they said.
Clicking feels wrong, but right.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2010, 15:47, closed)
Very touching
Thanks for sharing this. It puts things in perspective for most of us....Oh and before I forget *click*
(, Fri 15 Oct 2010, 15:17, closed)

(, Fri 15 Oct 2010, 15:37, closed)
This puts a lot of things into perspective.
Very nicely written and very touching. Have a well-earned *click* mate.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2010, 15:44, closed)
You sound
like a grounded individual. The hat is well and truly off to you.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2010, 16:13, closed)
seems that something you haven't lost
is your wit and determination. good luck to you.
oh, have a click, too.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2010, 16:29, closed)

"With a little practice at losing things" - you remind me of a poem I studied last year.


The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
Some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster

- Elizabeth Bishop
(, Fri 15 Oct 2010, 16:36, closed)
If this isn't the best post on here...
...I'll shoot myself in the nuts. Click on its way.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2010, 16:38, closed)
If you are truly dying
You have my sympathy and my empathy, but if you are dying... mate post shorter messages or even better stop wasting your time on pointless websites, like the rest of us with too much time on our hands do.

Enjoy what's left.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2010, 16:51, closed)
Did you read the post?

(, Fri 15 Oct 2010, 16:59, closed)
Great post
I may be drunk, and thus feeling more sentimental than usual, but i'm almost certain i'd feel the same way sober. Have a click.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2010, 17:58, closed)
Like my friend who has lost the use of his legs,
and wishes he could still feel the wet grass under his feet as he walked in his garden,this post puts many things in perspective. Have a heartfelt click.

BTW a Ducati would be a better tool for the ride north.

Good Luck.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2010, 22:51, closed)
*so doesn't like this*
*clicks anyway*
(, Sat 16 Oct 2010, 0:46, closed)
well thanks people, it was just a little honest 2 cents' (that's 5 cents with inflation) worth. The poem above just reminded me of another:

Things just seem to fall apart;
string bags full of oranges,
and things within the heart.

Calamities evaporate and memories depart;
people laugh at everything,
and things just fall apart.

-Michael Leunig.

Or, as the great philosopher Edie Brickell (I think) put it: "Everything is temporary, anyway."

Cheers all. Enjoy.
(, Sat 16 Oct 2010, 0:51, closed)
I don't "like this" as such...
But you get what I mean when I click "I like this"
(, Sat 16 Oct 2010, 13:34, closed)

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