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Non Fiction

Frozen In Amber

Susan P. Blevins

God help whoever has to sort out my belongings when I die. What to do? Do I get rid of them now, while I’m only seventy? What if I live to be a hundred and twenty, which is my firm intention? Assuming I still have all my faculties.

If my home were frozen in its current state, and discovered after a hundred years, they might say:

Here lived a woman who loved books and learning; who loved music (what a beautiful piano she had, not to mention the hundreds of CDs); who loved cats (yes, they’ll come across the many photos of favorite felines); who loved to garden (just look at all the packets of seeds, and garden tools dating back to her childhood, not to mention the jungle around her house). They will wonder about the significance of Percy the Piranha, embalmed in all his snaggletoothed glory, but they’ll have to come up with their own explanation for him. They might also ask themselves where on earth this woman hailed from, for with furniture from England, Italy and China, and abundant evidence of the Middle East, it’s not at all clear. All they will be able say for certain is that her tastes were eclectic.

Which is just the way I like it. They’ll see that I was truly a citizen of the world.

But let’s get real. In a hundred years we’ll all be dead, and the planet transformed, if not blown apart completely by human idiocy. The world as we know it could change in the twinkling of an eye.

When I think about my life, looking through the telescope of time into the distant future, it just makes me want to rid myself of all the non-essentials and live in the moment, which is all we have with any degree of certainty anyway. There is so much we want, and so little we need.

All the ego-clutter of books, music, clothes, jewelry, china, art and travel mementoes, means nothing, and doesn’t indicate who I am. That all just furnishes an outer veneer of cultural identity, but the core of me is still hidden, still known only to me and to universal spirit. And is it possible for another person to really know us? Most people don’t even know themselves, let alone someone else.

We’ll all reach the end of our journey soon enough, so until then, let’s be off and away to the pub and celebrate this moment of being, rather than having, of life, rather than death.