Thursday, June 24, 2004

When I die, I would like to be buried in some ditch off the highway, with nothing to remember me. I'm hoping that, if I do good enough in life, I'll be immortal anyway through my deeds; but, if I die, I don't want to take up other people's space with a gravestone. People live and people die, and those are the rules, I think it's fair if I just pack up and go after my eighty years on planet Earth.

My funeral, however, will be as upbeat as possible. I attended a service for a beloved skater punk boy in my community, and they played "Heaven is a Halfpipe:"

Now heaven would be a DJ
spinning dub all night long
and Heaven would just kickin back
with Jesus packing my bong
And if you don't believe in Jesus and Muhammad and Budha too
and while the world is warring
just sit back and laugh at you singing..

If I die before I wake
at least in heaven I can skate
cause right now on earth I cant do jack
without the man up on my back

I bawled my eyes out for a good ten minutes. Nothing to me was more moving than a positive attitude towards death. But when I cried, it was more than just me being sad: I was purging all the excess in my soul. Suddenly I felt things. And when the boy next to me said nothing and just held me... that made it all the better.

I'd want my funeral to honor me as a human being and not as a corpse. I'd like to make everybody cry the way I cried at that boy's funeral... crying for losing a boy we dearly loved and could have done so much for the world, and at the same time, empowering us to take up his legacy and his attitude, incorporating his spirit into our own and carrying on our community for generations to come.

So I suppose the way I would want everybody to come back from my funeral is to feel that they can let go of Leticia McKenzie, to let her flow freely into the wind, because the real reason I want to be left in a ditch somewhere is because I want to become part of nature. I want everybody to understand that I can never die, matter can neither be created nor destroyed, and that when I die I will be the wind that whispers to you in the night and the flowers that bloom in the spring. I will be scattered to the winds, free of the entrapment of my ego. It was dust that I was meant to be, and dust that I shall become again.

It's sort of fun that all of us, who were, at various times, trees, flowers, shit, dirt, animals, and people, stray atoms circulating throughout the circle of life, get configured for eighty years as an ego, a human being, capable of advanced thought and a myriad motor functions. But, in the same way, we will die and we will decompose and we, along with our friends, our pets, our dirt, and our trees, will reconfigure each other trillions of different ways to become trillions of different people.

And so someday, I, Leticia Jeanette McKenzie, will come back from the dead, if in a completely new time period, because I am merely an abstraction, and abstractions never die. What am I really? I'm a collection of bones and muscles and neurons configured in a most meticulous way to form a human being. I am a machine, capable only of taking orders and responding to its circumstances. Where I really shine is in the relationships of my neurons; the wonderfully random and yet precisely patterned little beasts that chatter away in my cranium to form the collection of electrical signals and actions that form ME, the ego, the one who tells you to be careful not to spill your juice and that it isn't nice to call people names. If I am my soul, and my soul is defined by who I am according to the processes of my neurons, than I am merely a pattern of electrical signals. I am an idea, and ideas never die.

Someday, after I die, I will come back, memories intact, wondering what the hell's been happening to me and why I have purple hair. As part of the infinitely random processes of the universe, anything can and will happen, and I have no reason to fear death. I also have no reason to convince myself of heaven or hell, because this is one universe that I am interacting with in the here and now, and to speak of other universes in conjecture is fun but a waste of my time on this earth. I hope that, just as I have spent a good chunk of time on Earth, I get to explore other universes after I die, or maybe before. They'll probably have bad inflight food and rude restaurant owners, but housing is cheap and the cities are sparkling clean. Isn't that right?


(There's not any particular reason that I'm talking about death today; I intend on wearing out my lifespan as much as possible. It just helps for me to think about it, as a way of being able to deal with today only. Did I ever tell you that I worry too much?)
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