June 5, 2021, Commentary from my hole
June 5, 2021, Commentary from my hole: How do you want to die? Imagine you are 73 years old. You are too young to die, but there could be good reasons that you will die. How do you delay death? Imagine massive blockage in the channels that carry life-giving blood to you. I have had bondhus who saw such things, folks my age, did the procedures and now live a good life. I have known of my father dying from the same procedure – or its aftermaths. And I now have someone for whom I worry. An open-heart surgery. Did nature intend it to be this way? Cut open the protective shell, tear away through the sinews, cut into the very life-giving beating heart, and amend nature and give life back. Cut into the eye, take out the fluid, amend nature, replace the fluid with artificial oil, and hope to give vision back. And take away 365 days out of a person’s life. And still no vision after that. I know this. We cannot always successfully mess with nature. My father never came home from the hospital. They had punctured his body so much that my aunt was aghast when the body was brought home. He was leaking, I was told. Trapped between two Worlds. I did not witness the leak. How do you want to die? Covid has taken over our lives, but there are other things that are also a part of death. I was reminded this afternoon in a conversation. The anxieties of opening sternum up with an electric saw. The bone dusts. And after amending nature, putting it back together. At least we now know how to do it. We know that my Covid surviving friend can get back to work, can invite friends over for a dinner, perhaps even enjoy a gin and lime as aperitif before dinner. While I also know that several days after a negative Covid test a person passes away. Leaving behind legacies and a man and their child. The confusion can be overwhelming and the quest for peace lies in a tiny shrub planted in the garden that will become the object of adoration and perhaps some pride. I sit in my hole, quiet as a tomb, while the evening shower cuts into the oppressive heat, unclear whether it did any good or bad as my bondhu said at the zoom meeting today. Uncertainty. Anxiety. And hope. As I said to him, do it now, don’t wait, you will be fine. Opening up the sternum is now routine, like a tooth extraction. Everything eventually becomes routine – the new normal – blind in one eye – normal. Because that is what we so seek – normal – the undefined Holy Grail. Yet, I wonder who can describe normal. A bondhu said it well “bhalo lagle kheye nebo. No one allowed to control.” And that is the life I seek as Andy Williams said, “Born Free” and we should all die free.