The Art of Dying

Somtow Sucharitkul. Starship & Haiku.

This isn’t how it should be! she thought. Each death should be a moment of supreme individuality, a moment before the dew drop joins the ocean

Notwithstanding the odd notion of a dew drop directly wending its way to the ocean without either evaporating and falling as rain or seeping into groundwater and into a stream or river, I am touched by this character bemoaning the machinery of a post-apocalyptic amusement park that carries the masses to cookie-cutter suicides.

Come to think of it, condensation can accumulate on the hull of a vessel so there must be cases where dew joins the ocean. The novel can be read not so much as a condemnation of the dying as a rebuke to the witnesses. To observe truly is to practice a ritual which is not simply to repeat a form. To observe is to be open to the uniqueness of the moment. And yet when faced with quantities of unique moments what is left is the sameness of their passing. And yet again the passing happens in a host of unique ways however minute the uniqueness.

The character’s “should be” can evolve into the reader’s “necessarily is”.

And so for day 442

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