Thursday, August 23, 2007

Before I die

I had a short vacation last week and needed to "reset" my brain as the last months at work has been very busy and exhausting. Too restless to read a good book, I went to the cabin and started working on a list of things I would like to do or experience before I die. Some big, some small, some hard and others already achieved. Always thought of making this.

I'm probably spoiled, living in the best country in the world and having a lot etc, and I don't take for granted that I will get all this. If I die tomorrow I'll do so with a smile as I have lived a very privileged life filled with fantastic experiences. But if my luck continues and I have a few more years in me, then I'm not going to spend them hiding in the closet. This list will be one tool to remind me that life is more than work and fighting crazy cults. You have to take care of yourself too.

Making the list did get me thinking about something else than work and thereby providing an important distraction. I also got to do some swimming in the sea with friends. A very enjoyable weekend.

So, without further ado here is my list.

"Although the time of death is approaching me, I am not afraid of dying and going to Hell or (what would be considerably worse) going to the popularized version of Heaven. I expect death to be nothingness and, for removing me from all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism."
[Isaac Asimov, "On Religiosity", Free Inquiry, also attributed to Science Fiction Magazine, Jan 1992]

Saturday, August 04, 2007

When Nature wears green...

Lately while helping couples find poems for their wedding ceremonies I have awoken my sleeping love for poems. The first poem I can remember I learned by heart was one by Kajenn. It meant a lot to me when I was young, but I have since forgotten part of it and have had no luck finding out who this Kajenn is and the poem is not on the Internet. However, the other day while going through an old box I found a copy of it written with my childish hand 20-30 years ago. Made me feel good. Thought I'd share it:

That our earth is a place fit to live in
Must be what we aim for, dear friend
Make a world that the world can survive in,
that must be our goal in the end.

For the plot that we have in our keeping,
the resources of our cosmos commands
Will surely not go on increasing
To keep step with our growing demands.

So judge not in rubel or shilling
The value of life on our scene;
No, judge by the nightingale's singing
In springtime when Nature wears green.


""Do not feed children on maudlin sentimentalism or dogmatic religion; give them nature... Do not terrify them in early life with the fear of an after-world. Never was a child made more noble and good by the fear of a hell."
[Luther Burbank, "The Training of the Human Plant," 1907]