“ I have just been lucky” I heard a voice saying as I lay staring at the crown molding of my nine foot ceilings in my apartment in Paris this morning.
“Damn, damn, damn lucky” I heard the voice say, as if in coda.
There was, after all, a kind of musical rhythm to those two phrases, and that rhythm - it seemed to me - justified the musical allusion.
If I really cared – which I really don’t any more – I probably could have made those phrases into a song.
But those days are gone,
The meaning of those words, however, at a cosmic level, became the fodder of multiple musings.
They caused me to lapse into a state of penderance.
The outer edges of that state dealt with the question “I wonder how much time I have left?”
It is odd that, at this end of my life, being so far beyond an age – when I was young – that I had allowed myself, or even had ever had had any self-serving reason to want or to believe I would ever reach – that I even give a shit.
But the voice was asking the question, and one always answers questions from voices on high.
But as I tried to formulate an answer, a deeper, related, thought occurred to me. And I was easily able to abandon any further contemplation of my longevity.
The question, I realized, was on the outer edges of the real issue. There was a nucleus and it was the entré to the real issue.
And that entré was the really important thing.
It was the nucleus of the question that really mattered.
Because the nucleus deals with the complex series of metaphysical and physical accidents that caused “me” to end up being where – (to end up being at all really) – in a given place and a time and with whatever given resources I have at my disposal, such that I can do what I, do and think what I think.
That nucleus, and what it drags with it is what it is that I am; and what it is that I can do screams the question - to me, at least - of why am I what I am – those things just alluded to – rather than being a beggar on the streets of Seattle, or Paris, or alternatively of being a piece of human detritus where such detritus is the norm and where that norm has always been the norm?
That norm is the norm in much of the rest of our world. How did my protoplasm elude that plight?
I didn’t hear any answers.