Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Death Van

On Friday I saw the death van on my way to work. It's the Czech version of a hearse. All black. Dark windows. A gold cross painted on the back. I've seen it before in front of the church near my house. Even saw them loading the coffin once.
Friday was different. I saw them stopping near the top of our square. There is a little glass window box that carries the death notices of the day. The man was there changing the papers. Such a fascinating job. I wonder what it must be like to deliver the postings of the daily dead. Cheb isn't a very big town, but every day there are names added to the wall. A reminder that life is short. Sometimes very short indeed.
To add to the eeriness of meeting the death van so early in the morning I walked into albert (the grocery store under where my office is located) and heard the song "Tears in Heavean," by Eric Clapton playing on the radio. It was just an odd way to start a Friday...
I came through Friday unscathed, but it did make me think about the brevity of life and the importance of living each day that I'm given. It's so easy to make trite sayings like "carpe diem." But the truth is, none of us know the hour of our death. I've been watching a show called "Dead Like Me," recently. It's the story of a young girl who was killed by a toilet seat falling from a Russian space station, after which she became a grim reaper. I can't say I agree with all the things that happen in the show, but as they show people reaching their end of their days, often in freakish and totally unexpected ways, it makes me think about what I'm doing with my life, and how I'm taking advantage of the time God has granted me here in this world.
I want to be a writer. I do. I want to somehow speak to those with ears to hear. But when I do it I want to really have something worthwhile to say. And while I reach for that goal I want to keep on living. I want to seize the days placed before me like wrapped mystery gifts, full of innocence and wonder...

No comments: