left biblioblography: Gazing Into The Abyss...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Gazing Into The Abyss...

Cross posted @ God Is 4 Suckers!imaginenoheaven

"If you stare into the Abyss long enough the Abyss stares back at you." - Friedrich Nietzsche

The elections are over, I'm back from my trip to China. I'm thoroughly pissed off that proposition 8 went through. I'll be ranting on this soon enough, but I have some other item I wish to share.

Recently, not only have I had a death in my family, but I've had some pretty close shaves myself. I was in the hospital about a month ago, for a procedure called a stent. I was experiencing shortness of breath, needle-like pains in the heart, dizziness, and the sense of impending doom. While some of you might be getting wide-eyed at that, I've been experiencing these issues for about a year. The doctors can't give me a fix on it. Still can't: I was told it was possibly a myocardial infarction, but the heart specialist turned out to be wrong.

I can field most of this fairly well, but the pounding of one's pulses in the eardrums as well as the sense of impending doom are sensations I can do well without.

And this last Monday, I came down with a very bad case of food poisoning, so much so that walking across a room for a few feet left me weak as a kitten. I had to lay over in Shiyan as the rest of my tour group went on to Xi'an, and I took a sleeper train over to join them the next day. Not an experience I want to have again.

And contrary to the popular stereotype ('no atheists in foxholes' horse manure, you know the drill), I didn't collapse to my knees begging for life. Nor did I weep bloody execrations to the skies above. I saved my breath and my energy, and survived without 'divine intervention'. Like most fancy themselves, I am made of sterner stuff.

Do I ever question my position on the afterlife? Of course I do: uncertainty shrouds this cloak of flesh we wear, always. Questioning everything is the way of the logical being.

If perhaps I were a weaker individual, I would draw solace from the superstitions of the past. Imagine some external force comforting me, filling me with life, power, survival. What a nice comic book sensation that would be.

But alas, no such luck. No hand was laid on me from on high. No ghost whispered 'Strive! Survive! Fulfill your destiny!' in my ear. No visions, visual or otherwise. Just fevered sweat, gushing liquids and the scrabbling mendacity to march forwards.

But I am here, that was another country, and besides, no wench is dead. (A no-prize to the reader that gets that esoteric reference!)

Life is good while I still have it. While I'm not afraid of that void that claims all, I'm in no rush to meet it headlong.

Till the next post, then.

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Spanish Inquisitor said...

Stents are good things. My daughter has two of them, one when she was a year old,(Gortex) another when she was three (mesh). Or seven. it's been awhile, and I tend to forget. Maybe I need one to help keep the blood coursing to my brain? ;)

Ain't modern medicine grand?

Krystalline Apostate said...

Hey, SI.
Yes, they are. The cardiologist was CONVINCED that I had a 70-80% blockage - he dropped by afterwards, to humbly admit he was wrong.
1st time I've seen a doc do that.