Thoughts on Quotes on Death

“I don’t want to go.” – The 10th Doctor

But that wasn’t really death was it – it was rebirth, reincarnation.  The wish fulfillment of a hundred million souls.  What if… when we die we just get popped into a new body? Keep the memories, ditch the bad hair and judgy personality. Start all over, and this time I’ll get it right.  This time I wont eat so many cheeseburgers and fries.

“The hardest thing about death is not that men die tragically, but that most of them die ridiculously” – Mencken

But Mencken was an atheist, and the core of atheism is the knowledge that there is no life after death. Therefore – ridiculous or not, I couldn’t care less.

“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.” – Banksy

But if no one knows the real you, or your real name, does the second death count?

“Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.” – George Eliot

A variation on the above theme – with the same problem, does anyone remember George’s real name?  (it was Mary Anne – there, now she lives again.)

“I saw few die of hunger; of eating, a hundred thousand.” – Benjamin Franklin

Which is more true in our time than his… and ironic considering his own obesity helped to kill him.

No particular reason for these morbid thoughts on a Wednesday morning.  Sorry…  well, here’s something that will cheer you right back up:

 

My Philadelphia

Liberty BellWhen I was a child, growing up in the shadow of Manhattan, Philadelphia meant the bell with a crack and Ben Franklin with a kite. On a class trip to the capital of the United States, confused, I asked my teacher, where is the bell, where is the kite? The teacher sighed, but unsurprised (I was never a good student) answered, “The capital of our country is Washington, DC, but its birthplace, the bell and the kite, are back up in Philadelphia.”

“Why don’t you take us there?” I asked.

“Too dangerous,” she replied. “Criminals and trash.” Then she whispered, “They hide the bell under a stairwell.”

Many years later, I fell in love with a Philadelphia boy. He held my hand and took me to see the cracked bell, not under a stairwell anymore, but in a glass box in a field of green. At the end of a bridge named for the man, we saw a statue of Ben Franklin’s kite in a circle surrounded by fast-moving cars. I wondered if Franklin, with all his open-mindedness, could have imagined such a sight.

Five years ago, I moved here for the love of a Philadelphia man. He showed me a city that was really a small town. A neighborhood reminiscent of Mr. Rodgers and Sesame Street. In no time at all, his neighborhood became mine. The people in the shops know my name and even the strangers smile and say good morning.  The streets are filled with people walking, to eat, to shop, to work. We stroll on an afternoon, hand in hand, pass this dog park, and the other dog park, and the other, other dog park. We watch the old buildings come down and the new ones go up.

And now this is my home. This is my city of brotherly love. It has criminals and trash, true, but that is not what I see when I look out my window. I see good-hearted people, and their ubiquitous dogs, talking and laughing and smiling. I see people who are proud of where they live. I see constant change and a desire to make it better.

This is the place I live and love and work. I walk its streets like I walk the hallways of my home. Its bars are my living room, its restaurants my kitchen. Its murals are the paintings hung on my walls. (Its museums are the guest room that you never use, but are really glad you have when people come to visit.) 

I love where I live, simple as that. This is My Philadelphia.

Mural Tour
Mural Tour (Photo credit: Zepfanman.com)