I answered the doorbell last Sunday wearing long johns and one of my husband’s giant sweaters. The dapper couple in the doorway looked past my fashion faux-pas and proceeded to expound on ‘why war happens’ and, if that wasn’t helpful enough, ‘where I’m going after I die’ – all with the help of a colourful brochure. The man looked like he’d just stepped off Ed Sullivan’s stage with a 60’s boy band, while his partner, a lovely earnest girl, was dressed in the prerequisite knee-length skirt and ‘sensible’ shoes.
But there was something about her that didn’t quite fit the cliché…
“Awesome glasses,” I said, “those have got to be the coolest frames I’ve ever seen.”
Her face lit up and her demeanor brightened right away. The moment served as further proof that however strong our faith, our souls are still driven to justify themselves within the social/material construct of our physical world. As I writer, I itch for validation and recognition as much as the next biped. My husband, on the other hand, has always been a rebel.
“So how do you deal with the pain of your mortality?” I asked the wise man sitting next to me on the couch.
“We live… we die.” He shrugged and turned back to the TV.
He was right, of course, and – philosophical crisis averted – my body relaxed into the warm beige faux-suede beside him. Though, I do think much of his Zen frame of mind could be attributed to the disturbingly huge slab of juicy grilled beef he’d just devoured. George Foreman may have been beaten by Mohammad Ali in 1974, but yesterday, in Calgary, Canada, the ex-boxer took on mortality itself – and knocked it flat.