Thursday, June 3, 2010
We Are The Fragile...
"It is a strange thing how quickly the body dies. How fragile a force our presence is. In an instant the soul is gone-leaving an empty, insignificant vessel in its stead. I have read of those sent to the gallows and the guillotines of Europe. I have read of the great wars of ages past, and men slaughtered by the tens of thousands. And we give but fleeting consideration to their deaths, for it is our nature to banish such thoughts. And we give but fleeting consideration to their deaths, for it is our nature to banish such thoughts. But in doing so we forget that they were each as alive as we, and that one length of rope-one bullet or blade- took the whole of their lives in that last, fragile instant. Took their earliest days as swaddled infants, and their grayest unfulfilled futures. When one thinks of how many souls have suffered this fate in all of history- of the untold murders of untold men, women and children... it is too much to bear."
-Excerpt From Abraham Lincoln: A Vampire Slayer
I'm sure most of you read that and were like, wow. But then laughed when you saw where it was quoted from, but don't focus to hard on where it came from(because it is a book that is wonderfully written and really is not as much of a joke as you would think). There is so much truth in that text above. I still read it and am floored. I read that at my bookfair today and it really just somewhat amazed me. Everything said is so true...
In the book, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer, Abraham writes these powerful words after his first couple weeks of living in Springfield, Illinois. He is talking with a client of his, he is a lawyer at this point, and he witnesses a woman running from a hotel room followed by a man. The man shoots the woman in the back and she falls to the ground clutching her stomach. He watches her as she struggles and tries to sit up clutching her stomach.... She cannot. Abraham and and another man run to her aid. Abe realizes that the woman is the wife of the shooter. Abe and the man are holding to the dying woman as the man with the gun still stands above his wife toting the gun. He then turns the gun on himself... Abe in the quote above is describing his experience, watching the man die. How with just one second his body went stiff and lifeless...
Isn't that a scary thought? To think of ourselves as anything but invincible? I know some of you are shaking your head and saying, "I know I'm not a superhero Tanner." But really, do you ever really think about how fragile we really are? How easily a life ends? How a fever, a car, a bullet can in one instant take your life? I know this is starting off really really dark and you're probably wondering if I am contemplating suicide, but I am not. I promise.
This whole concept of how fragile I really am has been on my mind since this afternoon. I read that excerpt and it was really powerful when I read it, but I think it became even more powerful when I witnessed a couple hours after I had closed the book. I was driving home from the bookfair this afternoon when I saw a car accident. I was driving down Charlotte Ave almost to Mecca(Mckays) when I looked up to see a red car in the middle of the lane and a silver car breaking and heading straight for her. It all probably was only about 3-6 seconds but I can remember every second clearly. He sidewindered towards her car like a snake approaching his prey and then crash. The front end of the new red car was destroyed and the back end of the silver car was completely dented in. I looked at the red car to see if the woman was ok, she was moving. She was putting her hands on her head in shock. It looked as if she had been on a cell phone.The guy, who had every right to be mad at the woman for pulling out right in front of him on Charlotte ave, got out of his car with a great amount of coolness and patience. He walked over to her to see if she was alright, then looked at the cars. A man who saw the accident as well ran towards them and asked if everything was ok, and the man replied with "Yes... well I think she's really shaken up." I looked back to the woman to see her just balling in disbelief. I was driving the truck home from the bookfair and was going to get out to help with whatever I could but when I looked to my right and left I knew these people were ok. People from both the right hand side of Charlotte and the Left were running to help them. I knew they were in safe hands...
It was weird experiencing that though. It was weird to see that her life could have been completely done and over with in a matter of 3 seconds. Her bad decision to pull out on to charlotte without having a clear sight could have cost her life. It cost her a car, but she'll walk away today. She'll still sleep at night. She'll still have breath that passes through her lungs. She is still alive.
Witnessing that and thinking about it over and over again in my head, this quote from the book came back to me. Thinking about how Fragile we truly are. We truly don't see ourselves as fragile as we are all the time. Which is honestly a good thing. If we thought about it all the time then we would never leave the comfort of our beds, and we would keep the bullet-proof vests on at all times. Its a good thing that we don't think about it every waking second, but I do think people, especially my age, don't realize how fragile we truly are. I have heard so many scholars and men who have said when you're young you think you are "Invincible." And I completely agree. I don't really think about stuff like this. I don't think about how my body is created wonderfully and resists so much, but it still is breakable. My life could end at any instant. Wether it be car accident, gun shot wound, or heart attack. I am fragile.
I don't know if this is a weird realization to come to at the age of 19, but I think its something we should all realize and respect. Not fear, but respect. We should be aware of our lives and our limitations, and our safety. We should be aware that some risks are good to take, because they are memories, but some are dumb to take, because they could cost you everything.
I really am not writing this out of fear, or to make you feel afraid. Thats not my goal at all. Because, I find some comfort in my fragile-ness. I have written about how we are the imperfection and God is the perfection in our lives. This all comes back to that thought for me. I am imperfect. I am distructable. I am fragile.
It makes me also realize how much of a gift life is. Every day is a gift. Every day. Every breath that I take is a complete and total gift. Ever person who I have talked to, every word that has passed through my ears... all gifts. It makes me realize the value in my life. Being alive is such an amazing thing. Yes, we all have been in the lowest of lows and not wanted to be alive anymore, or at least thats what we think, but really think about this. We are fragile, but we are alive today! What an awesome thing. We are broken but yet we function. I can't help but feel a little more alive with thoughts like these.
So for every day that you are alive realize...
Today is a gift.
With every breath you take realize...
It is a gift.
Life is such a gift. We live our lives sometimes feeling lifeless. STOP!
Stop living that way. We only have so long on this planet, why waste it feeling lifeless?
I have realized my fragile state, have you?
Does it scare you?
It can if you let it. It scares me to an extent, but really the thing that overpowers all fear is my gratitude for my ability to type right now.
If I had driven down charlotte ave. only 2 seconds earlier and in the next lane, I would have killed that woman. My truck would have killed her. I am so grateful that she is alive and well today. I am so thankful that I am alive and well today. We all should be.
Realize life is such a gift.
Life is good no matter what pain you are going through.
The gift of life, is the best gift we will ever receive...
And I thank God for the gift of life.
Life is a Gift.
Media Associated With This Post:
Song: The Fragile
Artist: Nine Inch Nails
Album: The Fragile
Book Excerpt From: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer by Seth Grahame-Smith
Broken House Picture and Man in Jaws Mouth Taken By: Chris Sims
Other Pictures taken from Google