Intimations of Mortality

I am struggling with material from Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. I know I want to propose a reversal of old and young in this passage:

The young man proudly names his scars for his lover; the old man alone before a mirror erases his scars with his eyes and sees himself whole.

I want the reversal to come out of a reading of the text i.e. find a passage elsewhere that levels all difference. I found it.

You see the creatures die, and you know you will die. […] I think that the dying pray at the last not “please,” but “thank you,” as a guest thanks his host at the door.

This intimation of mortality deconstructs the opposition of youth and old man.

And so for day 613

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