Mortal fear

I fear death. So, there it is, in black and white. It’s not incomprehensible that I’m afraid of death. My father passed away when I was 14 and only recently I found out what the real impact was of that event. I think most of the world’s population fears death, but we don’t talk about it much. For a lot of people death is abstract, elusive. Even for a believer like me. Don’t get me wrong, my faith was and is a great source of comfort in times of death. And yet I am and remain a human being, one with a broken heart of a father who is missed.

At the same time, my father’s death taught me many valuable things. The most important is how precious our time is. I have a personal aversion to people who say, “I’m going to go all-out, work hard, make a lot of money in the coming years so I can retire early. Then I can enjoy my hard work and relax”. Because in my experience, what if you don’t make it? What if you die before you reach retirement age? Like my father, who was 55 when he died. That’s why I have an aversion to a “I’ll enjoy life when I’m retired”-attitude. Because I know from experience that you’re not sure you’re gonna make it to retirement. That’s why it’s better to live today as if every day matters.

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Reaching for the moon

Recently I finally watched Apollo 11, the direct cinema documentary about mankind’s first steps on the moon. So many things about the moon landing fell into place while watching the documentary, like how ‘the Eagle has landed’ was simply a statement to describe that the landing of the vehicle called ‘the Eagle’ was successful. I had always thought this was some kind of fancy NASA code used to describe their successes, but alas, they were simply stating facts.

A lunar eclipse over Okambara Elephant Lodge, Namibia

There were other lessons I learned from this documentary too. Like, how the landing on the moon is a perfect metaphor for life. (Don’t take my words to literal when I say something is perfect, I tend to exaggerate this kind of point.) The documentary uses original footage shot, and audio recorded, by NASA in 1969 to show the different steps it took from roughly 3,5 hours before lift-off until the moment they (spoiler alert) landed safely back on planet Earth. And the documentary made me realise I never before considered the astronauts’ home journey.

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