“From the first breath to the last gasp. From the first “mama” to the last word of goodbye. From the first wobbly step of a baby to the last hour on the death bed. Being forever on the move, we travel from one place to another. Life is a journey… Neither wisdom, nor beauty, nor truth. No key is needed as the journey is you…”, said an old and learned philosopher to his granddaughter while sitting on a bench, watching the sunset and smoking a pipe. The little girl said nothing. She was busy contemplating her beauty in the mirror of the nightly sky.
This often repeated and banal phrase. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I smell a rat. I taste a falsehood. Life – a journey – what did you say? Journey to where? Where is this life heading? I laugh aloud at the dumb silence of the universe. To death. To death with you. Take care, mademoiselle, then. Have a safe journey! Go straight to the grave and bring my regards to the devil. Ah, and don’t forget to take your soul as a souvenir with you!
But what do I see? Fears mixed with courage, salt disguised as sugar. Still hesitant, my lady?
“This is not like that, you fool!”, I hear the cold and dreary voice of a philosopher . “The journey takes time. It all takes time. Life is not an instant.” It takes time? Oh, really, my dear? Where is time? Show it to me! Where is your past and your future? Present the evidence, now! Where is your childhood? Where are your dreams? Gone and never to return. Where are your rosy cheeks? Your ruby red lips? No wrinkles, no lines, not an ounce of yellow on me. Still a freshly plucked apple. No worms in me.
Memories, you say. My memories. There hides my childhood, there hop my dreams. Watching the sunset and smoking a pipe. I talk to myself. I know that no one is listening. From the first breath to the last gasp. Being here forever. Stuck in the present. Traveling while standing still. From one place to another. Be it wisdom, beauty or truth, life is always the same… This is the key and it ain’t about me…
But the little girl suddenly whispered in my ear: “Grandpa, look! Do you see that shooting star?”
I fell silent in my thoughts and lovingly squeezed her tiny little hand.