I’m sure everyone has a moment in their life where it hits them that they are not immortal and will leave this mortal coil, sometime or another.

It can be the death of one’s parents, one’s comrade in battle, witnessing cruelty inflicted upon the unfortunate who find themselves in the wrong places at the wrong times, or any number of things.

The death of a friend so soon after high school was shocking at first. But before my very eyes I have evidence of how short life is, and how important it is not to waste what time I might, or might not have.

In memory of my friend, I will write one post every day this week until Saturday the 30th of June, a week after his body was discovered by the police.


18 thoughts on “Mortality

  1. First time I thought of it was a week after I had talked to a student of mine about his project. Suddenly, he was dead. I did not know what to say. Should I act shocked, like in a movie? Nah. I just registered it and said okay. It striked me as weird more than anything else. Like part of another world.

    Second time when I got lost in the mountains. Was not sure I would find a way back. I wrote about it.

    Third time when I refused a doctor’s treatment of cut wounds and instesd bandaged them myself. Felt like I would die for breaching their holy authority. Same day, I was a photographer at a party and that awareness made me supremely confident with the girls, in a very nonchalant matter.

    • It’s an odd thing. Some people who think would affect you less make you think quite a bit. Other times, when family members pass away – you find yourself dumbfounded at why you don’t feel more.

      Death is a nebulous concept as it seems our society embraces anything that pushes awareness of it back, even gratuitous death, as that’s a way of trivializing it. Maybe I don’t describe it well – but in the US, our relationship with Death is an unhealthy one.


      P.S. As soon as you start having bigger problems (like the fact that you could die, or a family member appears closer yet to shuffling a mortal coil), things like women and social jockeying seem like extremely small potatoes in comparison. You’ve got better things to worry about. And that makes dealing with both, a whole lot easier.

      • Yes, true to your P.S.

        Indeed. I wonder why that is.

        I reconnected with my mortality finally during an acid trip. I had relived a childhood trauma that had stunted me my whole life and god said: You have suffered enough. If you want, you can come back to me.

        And that was when I realized that there is no shame in dying or wanting to. It is nothing more than a simple switch to exit a life not worth living. End of the game. Nothing dramatic. That day, I lost my fear of death, because it is my life and my death. My choice. I own it.

        Had the idea that authority may want to stigmatize death in order for you to stay in a life that is not worth living, out of fear of hell for instance: Yes, your life is miserable, but killing yourself will bring you to hell.

        They enslave you and then make you afraid of the most intuitive and simple escape from that slavery: Death. Because they need you to work and keep working.

        Got Spotify? Wrote a song about death. ‘Tom Arrow – Death is no tragedy’

        • There’s a variety of reasons I’m sure – but if you think about it long enough you’ll find out what’s true for you, at least.

          I’m glad to hear that. There’s a lot of ways to, fix or heal yourself of scars and wounds that eyes can’t see. I believe it’s one of the reason why elites keep drugs banned, and place premium penalties on drugs that are hard to test for (and extremely ‘dangerous’, apparently).

          It all depends on how you see it – hard to place a black and white morality or set of thoughts on such black and white concept of on (alive) and off (dead).

          Then again – Samurai often wrote and spoke of living as if they were already dead or going to die. Thus, they were able to live freed from the constraint of fear of death. Another person wrote about Doc Holiday and similar line of thinking.

          That’s one way of looking at it. I can see it. But managing death is also important, heh, for survival. In a familial sense. It does a family no good for people to wantonly walk to their deaths. My father once told me that ‘suicide is a coward’s way out’. You could say he’s trying to control me. And you’re probably right, he is. But he does it out of love and prudence. Love because he does not wish for me to die, prudence because he does not wish for our family name, his legacy, or mine to die out on a whim.

          As for the enslavement through fear of death – I can see that. It used to be the establish ruled through the damage they could do to one’s body (and torture – all the pain and none of the release of death). Today’s establishment is more insidious – they torture and enslave the mind. Your life is full of pain and misery that you can’t see and you live for the McDonald’s and Wendy’s of entertainment – drugs, fast food, TV, and other such lights in a sea of darkness.

          Another thing is fear of death and going to hell could also promote good behavior on earth (and that’s another story). I’ll just say there’s more than one side to a story (and don’t get lost with false dichotomies either).

          As for a simple escape from slavery being death? The opposite of slavery is freedom and death is a means of obtaining it – I’d be careful not to conflate the two too much, though.

          I think I do have spotify. I’ll give it a listen.


          • Samurai is a great point. Have you seen the movie ’13 Assasins’? In the beginning, there is this guy who sees the crippled woman and he almost cries out in joy that he finally has found himself a way to die with honor. It deeply touched me and I have entertained the same thought. I hope that my death will be at the hands of a worthy opponent. In fact, I feel – underneath – that my life is in some way a preparation for some sort of fight. Just an intuition, though. No idea what it may be about. Neo-masculinity? I doubt it, but who knows.

            Your father may not want you to commit suicide, but to say that it is out of love is ridiculous. That is like my mother saying that she spoiled me out of love. It is a masqueraded intent. Nobody ever does anything truly selflessly. And if they did, they would have to ask you if it is what you want. Somebody who says ‘I do it because it is the best for you’ is delusional.

            Death belongs to you and you should be free to choose it anytime you see fit. I would wish the same for my children.

            But even if it were true, you can not compare your father to a slave master that does not care. For instance the church. Or just take some massa with a whip who wants you to plough the fields. He will tell you that suicide is shameful. But does he really do it out of love? I mean it IS easy to claim.

            I agree about drugs. You actually should know, being the traveler you are. Once you have been in a place where drugs are being talked about like a normal everyday thing, and come back to our regulated society, something seems off.

            • I have not seen that movie. I’ll have to watch it sometime.

              I could possibly see that. Or maybe your entire life is a fight. A fight to live. To do. What exactly you’re fighting for is not clear at first. But you’ll certainly fight to find out.

              I couldn’t disagree more. Would you say that love doesn’t exist? Would you say that God did not love his only begotten son, Jesus? If he didn’t, sacrificing Jesus on the cross for our sins seems a little less potent a testament to his love for us, no?

              I am of my father. His own flesh and blood. An extension of himself. His son. In a way, I am him. I’ve no doubt in my mind that were a bullet to head my way, if he was physically able to, he’d jump in front of it, that I may live. Same for my mother.

              Sure – you could reduce it to chemicals and logic and processes. Reduce the earth to collection of trillions of atoms or whatever it is. But I ask – why would my father want me to not kill myself? What does he have to gain if I don’t? What does he have to lose if I do?

              On it’s face – you’re right. Death does belong to me. I could choose it any time. But surely you don’t believe that the reason I didn’t end things when I had my first morbid thought was Only because my father told me that suicide was a coward’s way out. Perhaps I have things I want to live for too?

              You’re right. I can’t compare him to a slave master who does not care. I wouldn’t compare him to a slave master at all. If my father wanted me to just plough the fields, he would have raised me to support him and my mother until they died. But he did not. He raised me to be able to fend for myself in an imperfect world. I tell you says it out of love. Maybe I’m wrong and it’s just an illusion. But you must allow man his illusions, Tom.

              I have some thoughts about drugs but I don’t like talking about them other than in person. The short story is that my big issue with them is an authority pre-deciding for me that I should never do them (government). My father has his reasons to and I accept them as I know why he has them (at least I do now, when I didn’t before).

              When it comes to my father I can’t decide if you’re projecting or you’re so bent on the extreme side of preventing Anyone from controlling you that you tend to exaggerate your rhetoric and thoughts as you feel your way on the other side of the fence. I think you’ll find a balance sometime.

              Lastly – consider this. You’re weary of anyone with authority or power over you, right? So who are you to tell me whether or not my father tells me something out of love? What makes you an authority on that?


            • Ah. Interesting problem.

              I did not mean to say that he does not love you. What I hoped to convey was that his love to you does not necessarily guarantee that all his advice and actions are in your best interest. Which is not a shortcoming of your father!

              In the case of my mother, I do believe she loves me in some wicked way. But that love has done nothing but wreak destruction on my life.

              So all I meant to say was: Your father may be blinded by his love towards you. Blinded into believing that all he does is only ever in your best interest.

              I was projecting indeed, when I assumed that your choice not to kill yourself would be merely due to your father. This was a big issue for me; obviously, it is not for you.

              I am grateful for this opportunity to learn and confront my own experience with that of another man I respect. In the past, there was not a lot of opportunity or enough courage for me to do so, so a lot of my views and ideas are quite one-sided and possibly offending. When you grow up learning about all those values in the sense that they are all a lie, you tend to stop believing in anything – which has the potential to make you stop believing that the version of the ideals you encountered was not the real deal, but rather a miserable fraud.

              One more thing:

              I never understood this concept of ‘reducing love to chemicals’. It sounds bullshitty to me.

              Of course it is ‘just’ chemicals. But that does in no way devalue it.

              I am always amused by so-called nihilists or cynics who say it is just chemicals. It seems like very premature thinking to me.

              As I like to say: Knowing that the clock is made out of hundreds of little cogs does not take away its necessity to tick.

              So in that sense, no. It is not an illusion. In fact, if it is a chemical reaction, that makes it even less of an illusion, do you not think? It makes it much more real, actually.

            • Ah – that makes more sense.

              That I can get behind. In other words, just because my father loves me and wants the best for, doesn’t mean that I should take all his advice. Naturally, I agree with you. The nuance I’d say, is that because my father loves me, wants the best for me, and clearly has had a successful life (as far as I care to define success anyway), it behooves me to consider all of his advice, even if I do not take it all.

              I believe your mother loves you as well. That she may have had a flawed way to express it or direct it (the love she had for you) doesn’t negate the such a thing exists and is true.

              Yes. As much as I am under the command of my father, I am my own person. I think myself smart enough to be a little curious if my father raised me to be unthinkingly obedient. The only time I’d exercise immediate and unquestioning obedience is in an emergency (someone breaks in the home) or an otherwise important endeavor (work function of my father). The only time I really expect my father to demand such unquestioning and immediate obedience is in such situations. All other situations, I have the right to ask why (to an extent).

              Such is what happens when you’re introspection doesn’t encounter reality enough. It’s easy to get lost in your own thoughts and theories in the sometimes echo chamber like nature of the inside of your own head. Another beautiful theory murdered by a brutal gang of facts. Such is life. Glad to help. As the saying goes, “As iron sharpeneth iron, so sharpeneth one man another”.

              Of course – I’ve come full circle on a lot of my beliefs – after a combination of introspection and experience. You still have a few things you may come full circle onto yet.

              That’s an excellent point.


            • That sounds like a great relationship you have with your father.

              In contrast, I remember seeing a mother with her two kids in the park recently. She enacted a real life play where one kid had to give a stick to the other kid.

              The other kid did not want it. But his mother urged him to accept it and say Thank you.

              So much for the right to question. Stupid bitches are like automatons.

              “As iron sharpeneth iron, so sharpeneth one man another”

              I like that. And I am glad to converse with a man who has to confidence to stand behind his qualities.

              The friends I used to have were weaklings like me. I was afraid to let them go, because I thought: What right do I have to judge weaklings when I am one myself?

              But it is only natural that the weak seek out the strong to be taught and avoid other weak people to a certain degree. So much for equality, huh.

            • Yes – I have a great relationship with my father now. It wasn’t always great. But that’s normal – all great things take time and effort.

              Besides, you’re not the first person to insinuate that my father doesn’t care for or love me.

              Women are herd creatures. They can raise boys but they cannot raise boys to be men. That is something a man must do.


              You’ll find women often think in absolute terms, even though in practice no such thing exists to them, going by their behavior.

              I’m glad to converse with a man who can recognize his own limitations. Because of that, I’m confident you’ll be able to surpass them.

              Some of the friends I’ve had have used me. Perhaps I’ve been too loyal. Each has their own brand of demons (baggage).

              Equality has never existed. And never will.



            • I guess the only idea I have of ‘real tough fathers’ is from Hollywood, where they are painted as overly extremistic pricks. Just think of American Beauty, an otherwise superb movie.

              Yeah, each have their own demons. These days, I like to have compassion with almost anyone, even if they treat me bad. It is a kind of conflict in my head, actually. On one hand, I can understand why they do what they do. On the other hand, I can not just let them treat me bad or seek out those people on purpose, because it would actually harm me.

              Used to alienate and ‘betray’ a lot of friends in the past. That was mainly due to me faking a personality I did not possess. Since I was never honest, there was never any real intimacy. These friendships were not about emotions in any way, just about superficial commonalities and interests like video games. In hindsight, they were horribly devoid of warmth and meaning.

              But when I eventually chose to tell those people what I really thought of them, I felt incredibly guilty. Almost killed me, that shit. But I knew that the crime I had committed had nothing to do with telling them the truth. It had to do with having been friends with them for the virtue of me despising them – and thus not fearing to lose them. And telling them that meant to admit that I was quite a horrible person – despite being a purported ‘nice guy’.

            • Of course. And Hollywood is a tool of those who preside over the prevailing agenda. They seek to demonize fathers. Old movies are a better bet. Movies from the 60s and earlier.

              I also thought American Beauty was a superb movie. But I thought the father was guilty of worse than being a prick father. He was a weak one. Twist your mind around that.

              That’s not necessarily always a bad thing. But you should certainly not let people treat you badly – your compassion should serve to keep you from hating them for what they do.

              Well then. In a sense, you were never their friends. You weren’t who they thought you were and when you let them figure it out, of course they were surprised.


            • True. I currently love the Indiana Jones movies. He is being sexually assertive without being a cold asshole. Good role model in my eyes.

              Yes, true, he was weak in a sense. Actually, I imagined your father a bit like him, so that is the source of the projection. I just had no other image in my mind. Maybe it is in general this demonized image of real men that made me avoid them most of my life. In my past life, for instance, I had never considered that any real man would even be interested in my story.

              Good point about the compassion. Like in the Godfather (or godfather?): Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.

              True, we were never truly friends. You speak the truth.

            • He probably is a good role model. If I recall correctly, his movie series was in 70s and 80s, back before men really started getting reviled by mainstream.

              I think it’s a demonized image of men and you couldn’t separate the weak man who was from the strong, prick of a man who he became. My father was never that man because there was order in his household – his word was law. My mother both loved and respected him. In the movie, the wife’s love for her husband was waning and she had long lost respect for the man. So had his daughter. When he became a strong, prick, you notice how both his wife and his daughter started to respect – subconsciously.

              Some men may interested in your story, for a variety of reasons. In my case, you comment often on my blog and I’m appreciative of it. So I’d like to know your story.

              Hate affects judgement – but like you said – let no one take your anger from you.


            • I was actually referring to the military type closeted gay father. The other dude transformed into a cool guy. I liked the prick he was in the end. He also had that peace and kindness when he did not fuck the girl in the end. Although I think I would have; my pleasure to spoil the soil, so to speak.

              What you describe about your home is something I only know as a caricature, not as a real thing. It would be interesting to experience that in action someday. But I know of no one like that here. If you listen to your gut, does it feel right to you the way it was? No doubt or weird ‘tune’ to it? Just asking because it is such an alien experience to what I know.

              Yeah, I like it when people are interested these days. In the past, I would not even have opened up to tell it. Then again, I neither feel dependent on it. With god and all, you know. I know that everything I decide to do, I can do. I know and trust myself to do the right decision at any time to come and that is all the confidence I need, whatever shit I may ride myself into.

              Yeah, right. Anger is sweet. Although in the story with the women on the street that I told you, I afterwards felt a bit too shaken from it. A little too much rage perhaps. Might need some attunement. Cause it is stupid to stay in that angry – althogh cathartic – state of shaking anger just because of some old hag.

            • Oh I see. I didn’t like that character either. Doesn’t fit my father in anyway.

              I would have fucked the girl too. Might as well since the marriage was over and she wanted it.

              If I listen to my gut – I can tell that not all was perfect. I had a lot of anger for my parents at different times as I discovered flaws of theirs, real or imaginary, which eventually subsided as I understood them as whole human beings, flawed like the rest of us. Now my love and respect for my parents is greater and more conscious than ever before.

              Excellent. Trusting yourself is the bedrock of confidence.

              Maybe so – it depends. But the pain of overreaction pales in comparison with the self loathing one might have for letting others walk all over you (and others after you).


            • That is a positive surprise – even if it should not be, from your viewpoint.


              Sounds very wise and right. I wish I could come to the same conclusion about my mother, yet there is really nothing that makes up for the suffering. I never felt any love towards my mother. So even if I accept that she is what she is, there is nothing redeeming about the idea to have a relationship with her still.


              That is good advice, too. My ingrained shame used to make me feel quite different about it, but these days, I am endlessly happy to be able to agree with you.

            • Your mom is more flawed than most, and probably broken. It is not unusual to have a mess of feelings towards a mess of a person. And I agree. There’s nothing really redeeming for me to have a relationship with my half sister either.

              Glad to hear it.


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