Momento Mori

your time is right now

For the learned mind the term momento mori may send a wave of fear and anxiety. I get it. The constant reminder of our own mortality is hard to embrace much less comprehend. The lingering question of ‘what happens after I am gone’ haunts almost everybody. The fact is, none of us know for sure what happens and this creates a great mystery. Human beings fear the unknown. It’s a natural instinct tattooed on our limbic brain where our fight-or-flight mechanics reside. If we don’t know what it is it’s probably dangerous and going to hurt us or kill us and then what? The result is a constant loop ending in a syntax error which leaves us huddled in the corner rocking ourselves in the fetal position. While this may sound oh so dramatic, this is what happens in our brain. Some of us may seek the comfortable opiate of religion where we are guaranteed a place just beyond the pearly gates. And some of us might find comfort in a bottle of whiskey or burying ourselves in possessions and power. I have news for you and you are not going to like it.  None of us are getting off of this alive.  And nobody truly knows what comes next.  If they do know, watch your wallet. 

I’m a person who lives in his head. If you are around me long enough I might try to live in yours. Since I was a child I have thought about the end and have shuttered in terror. In the past five years I have literally walked the path of death with both my parents. Both were hard losses. In particular my dad. He was such a large figure in my life, a strong hard man that rarely expressed emotions except anger. How could death tap him on the shoulder and usher him out of this world?. He was afraid. Like I am sure I might be afraid. But in his passing there was something divinely moving. The thread that connects each and every one of us rich, poor, smart or dim witted. We are all mortal. There is no escape. Our days are limited. That is the beauty of being human.

We waste so much time. We sit in front of our TVs, we stare into our smart phones, we mindlessly waste time like we had all the time in the world. We don’t. We never know when our last minute will be and that is momento mori, the constant reminder, the ticking clock, the grains of sand spilling through the hour class. Minutes turn into hours, hours to days, days to months, months to years and years to decades. 

This is not meant as a cruel Halloween prank or a trip to the melancholy via the macabre, but, rather a wake- up call. To be present. To be grateful for every moment you have, to reflect and be joyous in moments you have have had and hopefully have ahead of you. If you are not one-hundred percent happy with who you are or where you are, now is the time to get off your ass and change all of that. Identify the things you need to change. Make a plan. Research! For god sake we have the internet. When I was a kid I had the encyclopedia Britannica and a phone book. Now we have the internet. All the knowledge in the world is literally at your fingertips. 

Clean your life up. Forgive anyone who has screwed or fucked you over. Have you screwed or fucked somebody over? Call them. Ask for forgiveness. Decide what you want to be. Where you want to go. How you want to be remembered and take action. Hold yourself accountable and find people in your life that will hold you accountable. Be the shining star you know you can/could be, only if.  Eradicate ‘if only”.  That’s total bullshit that you no longer have time for because your clock is ticking and your time is right now.

Momento Mori!


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