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Life is short; carpe diem

The Age front page 19/6/2007A shooting yesterday morning in the city (a few blocks from where I work) left one dead and two injured. Quite an unusual event, which had police and media swarming over the area. A Channel 10 cameraman I spoke to said it was pandemonium in their newsroom. (But no, despite what you might have read, the CBD did not go into “lockdown”. A number of buildings were sealed, and streets closed. No more than that.)

One can only feel for the family of the man killed, who was apparently a bystander seeing if he could help a woman being attacked. Ren just about saw it happen.

Having it happen nearby is one thing. People with a personal link to you dying makes it all the more real. It turns out a colleague’s mother-in-law passed-away over the weekend after a long illness.

And — more of a shock — an ex-colleague, who had come out of retirement recently to resume working had also passed-away, suddenly, on Friday. If he’d been unhealthy, he hadn’t complained about it. Always cheerful. RIP, John M.

I’ve been thinking a bit recently about mortality anyway. It might have been sparked by my grandmother passing away, or getting more conscious of my kids growing up and me getting older. (Is there a median age for mid-life crises? Ah, it’s 46 apparently.)

Some people have particular religious beliefs that come into play. I don’t. I guess I’d be defined as a Weak Agnostic: Maybe some people have figured it all out, but I haven’t yet.

So I don’t know what to think about issues such as life-after-death. A very strange (and spiritual) dream I had as a kid, accounts from others of near-death experiences, and I suppose plain simple hope leads me to think there’s something. Quite frankly the prospect of nothingness, of completely ceasing to be after death, scares me a little.

Okay, so I’m rambling. Whatever the truth, these are the sorts of background thoughts that have me occasionally talking/posting about the kind of “get off the bench” stuff that Cam’s been talking about. Making the most of life. Seizing the day. That kind of thing.