Jan 26, 2011

Date of Death: Unknown

Yesterday, on January 25 '11, a man named Emmanual Hammond was executed in the state of Georgia. I had never heard his name before around 9 in the morning that day when I came across this BBC news article.

Day before yesterday, on January 24 '11 sometime around 11 o'clock in the morning, my Intro to Graphic Design teacher mentioned that his "wife's client will be executed tomorrow" and during her recent visit with him, a conversation went as such:
Him: So, what're you gonna do with your life?
Her: Buying a farm, we'll grow organic stuff.
Him: Well, you can't wear all black and high heals there! :D
note: teacher's wife is black-crazy.
The information learned on Monday was not at all ordinary, but I forgot about it as quickly and easily as it had entered my knowledge base. The information learned on Tuesday, however, made me realize that Hammond and I only had 3 (or would it be considered 2?) degrees of separation between us. Just because the article mentioned his name, my psyche promoted him from a cliental entity to a full fledged human being. I wondered about his question: "So, what're you gonna do with your life?". I wondered what he did with his life during all those days when he knew for a fact that he was only moving closer to the end as each moment passed. I wondered how every person on this earth faces what comes, because, well, doesn't everyone know for a fact that they are getting closer to the end of their lives, too? And then I wondered, what I would do if I knew that today I would breath my last.

Surprisingly, the answer did not have any skydiving or amusement park trips planned. Neither did I see myself calling or emailing everyone I know or care about. No skipping school or work, either. And not even a hint of sorrow. Instead, I saw myself driving to school - as I was doing while thinking about this - and not speeding, even though I was late. I imagined myself in class, not day-dreaming, but utilizing every minute to work on what was assigned. Applying myself fully to the tools at hand, be it paper and pencil or screen and mouse. If I knew that I was to die tomorrow, I would live my last day on earth completely submerged in the moment. Submerged in my daily reality, in the routine of what my duties demand. For that is the real me, that is what gives me my identity. And I'd want to be Geetali for every single moment of that day. And why just that day? Why not every day? Why not every moment? Because, when I walk out the door in about fifteen-minutes to hit Kroger and Unit2Fitness, I may die! I may even die before that. My misfortune, unlike Hammond's, is that I don't know my date of death and unfortunately that makes me take life for granted and lose the precious moments that only I have the power of making beautiful by the power of my being in the moment.

What are you going to do with your life?

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