29th October 2017

Death, it seems to me, is fundamentally incomprehensible. A sentient mind cannot get to grips with the extinction of sentience. It is not what it was designed for. Even religion – the traditional attempts to come to terms with death – mostly evade the issue. Rather than face the extinction of consciousness, they pretend the extinction doesn’t happen. Likewise the reasons for death are similarly unreadable to us. The Universe is not here to give us reasons, let alone reasons for events we are incapable of grasping.

I am on my way back from Londres and thinking of this because on the Southern Coast, as the anniversary of the death of my sister approaches, some of my family are still puzzling over the riddle of it, as though it were possible to solve it. If the above acceptance of the incomprehensibility of death sounds morbid to some, I don’t find it so. The continual search for meaning where none can be found strikes me as more morbid.

I think it is a useful quality to have, to be able admit that a problem is insoluble, that the riddle will be with you forever, to recognise that you can only skate over the puzzle and continue onwards. This particular puzzle always comes back of course, which is why I don’t blame anyone for struggling with it, but it is rather like watching someone wading bravely through knee-high mud in a direction you know to lead only towards more and deeper mud.

Besides the theme of death, the weekend on the coast was fine enough. The sun shone, the hedges got cut, and the Silversmith and I found a patch of sloes large enough to unlock several bottles of sloe gin for Christmas. To top it all off, we all got an extra hour of time for free. They should give out time more generously every day.

29th October 2017