Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Shared lifetime.

Shared lifetime, geteilte Lebenszeit. Overly consuming and confusing is the thought of others to leave.
It is a bit like a boulevard theatre piece, like a chat room1 also; doors open, people enter, make an impression—or don’t—and leave, through another door. You find yourself sitting in the middle of what is your own stage, jaw dropped, overly taxed by too much waving goodbye, and unspeakably sad to have missed a few sparkling cameos before you entered the stage yourself. 1The chat room analogy is used courtesy of Olaf Schäfer.

Shared lifetime, also: the lifetime not shared; the years you missed, and the people who had to leave earlier. This blind spot, the years just before your birth, can develop into the most mesmerising era on your personal time arrow, I’d reckon.

They might have left some time before you yourself entered the scene, on a hot August noon in 1972, for example.

They might literally pass on the torch (i.e., the emergency rescue rocket in the case of B.J. Ader), some time in spring 1975 (if ever, we will never know).

They might take the rear exit a few years time into your own live, being shot in front of their front door, on a December evening in 1980, not before having left behind, on analogue tape reel, one of the everlasting bass lines (walking on thin ice). Although you might be sitting in the bath tub and hear your elder brother announce the tragic news, it might take you years to grow and to appreciate their merits.

You might also be discovering a biographical book on them on a bookshelf at an utterly boring party, reading their name for the first time, and a week later their death hits the international news: You find yourself to have co-existed with this man for 23 years in fairly close proximity, without taking further notice, and literally the week you start to appreciate his work, he waves goodbye.
Likewise, while you might be discovering a grey hair on your chest (if you sport any, that is) and might be indulging in a mixture of self-pity and grandeur: This is it, those pigments will never come back, decay, death, over and out, Grande Finale — a text message is buzzing in to praise the birth of a child, somewhere over in Switzerland, on a glistening February morning.

Shared lifetime; a miracle.

Fig. 1: A highly subjective, arbitrary chart of shared, sheared, missed lifetime.


  1. to share in
    to share with
    the absence of
    a substitute for

  2. Are we really shareholders in each other's life?,
    a friend asked in response to this post, which you
    smartly answer in your statement. Thanks for this abstract [sic] to this post.


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