Everyone Leaves in the End

I think about death pretty often.  My own, mostly.  It intrigues me, in a way.  I certainly do not fear death.  Why waste the energy worrying about something that will absolutely, with one hundred percent certainty, happen to each and every one of us?  Those who are scared of dying have something to hide.

And when I die, what will I leave behind?  My clothes, my shoes, the stuff in that one drawer I keep locked: I doubt those things will last much beyond my natural life.  But the work of my hands: who knows?  Through the motise, tenon, dovetail and dado, I may live forever.

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And, if I can, I shall haunt you from my Tuscan Red coffin.

At least until the collapse of civilization, in which case all would be turned to firewood anyway.

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12 comments

    1. OK, way off topic for woodworking but I like it. Throughout human history civilization has experienced quite a few “collapse events.” But each time it’s managed to re-assemble into something just a bit better than what proceeded it from its component parts – human beings. So maybe it not so much to be feared but rather accepted as inevitable, like death. There seems to be a vector (aka direction) in all this that I don’t pretend to understand, but it looks to me like it’s more toward good than otherwise. So I say don’t worry…

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  1. Fear of death is actually healthy. If we didn’t fear death at all we would be less effective at protecting ourselves from physical harm. It is fear of death which causes us to avoid dangerous situations. It is well-documented that inexperienced soldiers are more likely to die than experienced soldiers. The experienced soldiers have testified that when they were greenhorns they took more chances because they didn’t fear dangerous situations.

    Aside from the natural considerations, we also tend to fear the unknown. Ignoring those very few who have risen from the dead, no one gets a chance to experience death more than once. And death is forever. Will you blink out of existence? Will you go to heaven? Will you go to hell? Are you infallibly correct in your beliefs? You might be surprised and/or disappointed by what awaits you. And did I mention it lasts forever? I honestly can’t imagine how anyone who has really thought deeply about the finality of it and the possible outcomes could somehow manage to not fear it. To think that you are assured of a good outcome seems like wishful thinking. Why would we spend our whole lives knowing that all good outcomes depend in large part on good preparation and then expect that the most profound event in our lives would require no preparation and would always be guaranteed a good outcome no matter how poorly prepared we are? Why would we spend more time on identifying the best sharpening method than on preparing for death? If we screw up a plane blade at worst we are out a few hundred bucks. Screw up life/death and you could be out eternity.

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    1. Dan, there is a signficant difference between aversion to danger and fear of death. Please do not equate the two.

      The fact that my time on this mortal plane will end one day does not bother me. Nor do I worry that in a billlion or so years, the Sun will have become so hot that the surface of the Earth will be scorched and lifeless. Or that in a googol years the universe will be incapable of increased entropy. All three are exactly as much in my control.

      Death is a natural part of life, man. You are welcome to prepare for it how you see fit. In the meantime, I’ll be sharpening my edge tools and trying my best not to be a dickbag all the time.

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  2. I was a rock climber for 40 years until my back gave out ( in addition to being a woodworker by profession)

    Never thought about death. I was only concerned about the things I could control.
    Fate, or God, or whatever your construct is, will decide when it is your time.

    As to what you build to outlast you, wood object last a couple thousand years. If you really want something to live on past you, I suggest fired ceramics.

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  3. As I think about it, whatever you put on your blog will probably outlast any physical effort of yours, considering that nothing ever really disappears from the net.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The First Nation’s elders of the Pacific Coast were interred in a favored bent wood chest–one big enough–and placed on a special totem pole. Your tool chest could serve a similar function. Might be a squeeze.

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