How many roads must a man drive down?

Today, everywhere you look is evidence of yesterday’s storm. As I drive to work, I pass men in high-visibility jackets feeding huge chunks of wood into chipping machines. I drive through the centres of magnificent trees, a matching stump on either side of the road. Just back from the edge of the road, I see hundreds of silver birches and pine trees that are leaning on their brethren like drunken hobos.

In a way, I feel like I, and millions of others, have cheated death this week. Across Europe, 33 people were in the wrong place at the wrong time and were killed by this storm. Like me, they probably didn’t think that they would lose their lives this way. Modern technology has come a long way, but the fact remains that when a tree is blown down in a 100mph wind, your mobile phone won’t catch it. Nothing will catch it. You forget how vulnerable you are.

I consider myself fortunate that my only loss has been two fence panels.

BBC “In pictures” here and here.

On another note, I feel that I can share one of my resolutions for 2007 with you:

*#10: When you see a blog entry that says “Click this link – it’s really cute!” then don’t bother. It’s just that fucking sneezing panda again.*

12 replies on “How many roads must a man drive down?”

Your mobile phone may not catch it, but in this modern world that’s because half the people would be too busy taking a picture of the tree to get out of the way.

However as a general life thing, I think our brains are designed not to realise how generally vulnerable we are. Because then we would not be able to get through the day. The down side is when we do realise it’s quite a shock.

Sneezing panda? Never seen it. I’ll see if I can carry on avoiding to do so. Unless someone (I’m looking your way Pete) tricks me.

@Adrian, “general life thing”:

You might have a point there, although I object brain design, but habitual repression leads to people being shocked when the realize life’s vulnerability.

On the positive side, we are incredibly survivable, and it is everytime surprising what one may achieve under pressure. A bit of thinking, some willpower and observation of one’s suroundings get’s you further than you might expect. (I’ve had a handful of accidents in my life, 3, maybe 4, were life-threatening).

Of course death, end of existence, are always imminent, everyday, even to the fittest and most aware of us. In my view many people are -often unconciously- afraid of this, and repress this. It is not that our brain is designed this way; just some push themselves a form of ignorance, and perhaps even take refuge in promises such as afterlife, or fleeing into alternative realities (WoW? *g*). Perhaps because it is easier than facing our mortality.

I think one, and the world, would be better of, if facing the finiteness of existence. Only when you do this, face this fear, will you grow; will you be able to realize just how much life is worth, and treat it this way. Yours and those of others.

What I really want to say: carpe diem! Embrace life. Wear your best clothes today, if you feel like it, use the “nice” dinnerware. Tell your partner what you feel for her/him today; it might be your last.

As an afterword, tow quotes, both having influenced me greatly (Quiz! Where are tgeses that one from?):

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration”


“Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light,
only in dying life:
bright the hawk’s flight
on the empty sky.”

Have a nice day…

On the one hand, I want to intervene before this rather confusing exchange turns into a full-blown fight.

But then, on the other hand, it’s been too long since we’ve had a full-blown fight here.

Electronic communication is one of the prime ways to misunderstand each other! I think we should the most of it…so I’d suggest we just drop the need for a reason 🙂

(if anything just to prove to Pete that other then top-most blog posts receive comments!)

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