Being-Towards-Death

Dear You,

I’ve become something like an ancient Egyptian and this is my Book of the Dead. Everything I do now is for the afterlife.

I’ve given up hope that I’ll ever be recognized, appreciated or regarded in this life (and I’m officially too lazy to continue striving for such). That may sound sad or maudlin, but it’s not. It’s liberating. I’ve started to focus more on posthumous accomplishment, quietly committing to leaving something solid behind that I’ve worked my entire life to express, secretly and with care. A gift, not a product.

It makes everything I do now completely pure, untethered by success or outside influence or even the need to survive. My work is projected deathward, making an uncertain journey to a clear and defined end goal, and this inspires me to be vulnerable and sincere and true in the present.

Heidegger called this “being-towards-death,” I’ve recently discovered. To him this meant finding authenticity in life by confronting one’s finiteness, and by trying to make meaning out of one’s inevitable death.

There’s an honesty about posthumous discovery that I find attractive. About creating for one’s self without the intention of it ever seeing the light of day, but with the hidden desire that at least one person may discover your deepest intimations and connect with them when you’re long gone and the ego and personality don’t overshadow the purity of your intentions. And also not having to explain yourself.

This is not how I meant to say what I wanted to say, and I’m not sure you’ll understand me. But I love it here – my world, my home, my tomb.

Sincerely,

Me

PS. This has nothing to do with me finding my first gray hair today. Or does it?