I dreamed a few years back that I was in a supermarket checking out when I had the stark and luminous and devastating realization — in that clear way, not that oh yeah way — that my life would end. I wept in line watching people go by with their carts, watching the cashier move items over the scanner, feeling such an absolute love for this life. And the mundane fact of buying groceries with other people whom I do not know, like all the banalities, would be no more so soon.
Sheldon Solomon On How Fear Of Death Affects Our Lives
I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that almost everybody on earth is currently more aware than usual that they’re going to die. . . . People are becoming more racist, xenophobic, and willing to engage in hate crimes than they were in the recent past, for example. But being reminded that we’re going to die can also bring out the best in us, making us more altruistic — at least, toward people we consider to be part of our group.
I couldn’t see the loaves in her oven, but I could smell them. They smelled like the perfect weight of blankets on a winter night; like the loving and attentive parents I thought I deserved; like the solution to every natty problem that might crop up in life.
When we went back outside, Tom had stopped sawing and was repotting the bare vine. “You never know,” he said. He’s right, of course. We don’t know what the world will bring, what power lies in a salvaged tomato plant, what we all do to build back, survive, thrive.