Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Reality Checks and Balances

I was in an interesting store the other day.

Large displays of intricate calligraphy sets, scrimshaw artwork, handmade candles laced with gold dust. The kind of store that makes me wish I had actual money. I wandered about, looking at this and was all very beautiful.

I picked up a book from a display table because the title caught my attention:
How To Live Forever or Die Trying by Brian Appleyard. This is what the back cover said:

"I want to live for ever" sang the Kids from Fame, and they are not alone: the search for immortality has been a constant human refrain throughout history. But medical science has improved at an exponential rate in recent decades and there are those who believe that the ability to cheat death will soon be within our reach: the first person to live to be 1,000 years old has, they say, already been born. What has happened to get people so excited about the prospect of eternal life? And if they are right, what would it mean for us as human beings? If death became negotiable, would we still fall in love or have children? Would we still, in fact, be human? HOW TO LIVE FOREVER OR DIE TRYING tackles these and myriad other questions with dazzling skill. Funny, thought-provoking and often profound, it manages to grapple with the big issues of existence without blinding the reader with science, and sheds new light on why we are the way we are.

I put the book down and, upon turning around, came face to face (so to speak) with a six foot tall watch display case and this watch:

I smiled and left the store, confident that all was right with the world.


Jenn said...

Heh ... I like the watch. Nothing like a little does of reality now and then. With my luck, I will live to be 1,000 and my kids will follow, asking me to make them something to eat the whole time.

Natasha said...

People already get into enough trouble in the lifetimes they do have. Imagine how more chaotic life would be living that long. That watch is perfect, and yes all is right :P