Don’t know where I came up with that one. Maybe it was going to the funeral of a college classmate’s father. He was 87 (the father not the classmate). The trippy part was the memorial service which was held in a Lutheran church located in the mostly retirement community of Sunland California. [ I love how a lot of retirement communities have Sun in their name, like Sun City Arizona, implying that it’s always warm there which makes your arthritis feel better. If I ever go to one, I’d pick Leisure Village. There ya don’t have to do jack shit if ya don’t wanna.]
This Lutheran church blew my mind. I was raised in the Lutheran church (aka Catholicism lite) as a kid singing in the junior choir, going to Sunday School and confirmation classes, followed by a Lutheran High School, chased (but not chaste) by four years at a Lutheran college. With all that Lutheranism, you think I’d end up pope or something. But no, I back-slid while away at Lutheran College, and haven’t been back since. I figured that being born once was quite enough, and spiritually have come to lean more towards Buddhism than anything else.
Anyway, while enjoying all this mind-blowing deja-vu, I looked around and found that everybody there attending was in their 80’s. My gawd I thought (maybe because I was in Gawd’s House) that could be me in twenty years – if I’m lucky. Certainly a bigger dose mortality awareness than what I was ready for.
That’s when I had my big flash that death leaves everybody in the dust. Kind of a double entendre with the dust to dust thing, but meaning more like being left behind in a race when you decide to stop running and everyone leaves you in the dust. The dirt nap. You’re left behind and do nothing new anymore, just the same ol’ thing…napping in the dirt.
A lot of rock musicians have died young. I listen to a lot of them: Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Stevie Ray Vaughan etc. Sometimes I wonder, “what would they be doing now?” What would Hendrix sound like in 2014? More blues, or into jazz? Who knows. They are no longer participating in a meaningful way. They’ve been left in the dust.