Depth of Character
To quote my loud and lovably eccentric uncle: "people complain about not having a green card for a particular country, about not having a legal right to stay somewhere. Yet, a few years from now, you and I will both be in the ground. No one gets a green card for this world. It is so short-lived this place, that it is better to have never come here at all. Your soul gets broken out of you like a bird from a cage. These bodies are nothing more than a fragile cage. This human form makes for a hard life, I would rather have just been a bird"
I don't necessarily believe in a soul in the same respect that he does, but I think he has a refreshingly honest view of life. As the one uncle in our extended family who has never started a family of his own, and remains mostly to himself, he's often written-off or dismissed as an eccentric fellow. But I think this is entirely unfair.
He has these tremendously wise moments of clarity and often gives very sound advice. This particular quote of his, he has delivered a number of times, usually after or during one of his walks. He delivered this particular existential sermon earlier today.
He is an elderly person, and perhaps this explains his recently heightened fascination with mortality. It is likely that a few years from now, he may no longer be around. I worry that in his inevitable passing, that I might gloss over or laminate the true depth of his personality.
I had previously assumed that surely in an age as digitally accessible as our own, these interactions would become organically documented. Or that perhaps, those who know him better, are better suited to capture his memory. But both excuses are so very flawed. Photos and even videos do not fully capture impressions and thoughts. And those who know him better experience a different aspect of his personality as they have different interactions. And of course they too are just as susceptible to death.
So I think it might be nice to capture some living impressions in written form of those who may soon no longer be with us. He is right, that this human life is difficult, there is much noise, and a great burden placed upon this fleshy organ of thought that sits within our heads. To forget is as inevitable as death itself, and as a memory dies so too does the entity it captures. Thankfully we can predict this, anticipate it, and make use of the written word.