Thursday, April 7, 2011

Borges week 2, prompt 1 Revision

A big Fight. Anger. Slamming of the door. Taking off to get away from the situation. Intended destination still unclear. Passenger riding along. The heart of winter, icy roads. Around 2 p.m. Truck is floored to shoot smoke out of the exhaust pipe. Truck swerves out of control. Tries to gain control of the truck. Fail. Flipping front over end. Off the road. Bad accident and the loss of a life. Driver dead. Passenger alive without a scratch. Life is truly unexpected.
On December 19, 2009 about the middle of the day I answered my cell phone to a call from a crying and panting voice. Another good friend had called to break the terrible news, but couldn’t relay that message because of the frantic situation that had just occurred. After a few moments he was able to calm down and tell me that one of our best friends had died in a horrible car accident. At that moment, I couldn’t believe it; the only thought running through my mind was that there is no possible way that it could have happened to him. I couldn’t even say anything back I was stunned and stuck in place not being able to grasp the concept that he had died in a terrible accident. I just stood in the front of the store, Finish Line, dazed as if the traffic in the mall had been in slow motion. I was totally unresponsive to the whole situation around me. I was left to ponder in disbelief along with the rest of my hometown community and friends. Everyone that knew him didn’t know what to do or say besides morn over the loss.
It’s been a little over a year now since my good friend passed away and it has made me question my own beliefs. The creation of life and the idea of death are very controversial topics that can be debated forever. Questions involving death and where you end up when your life on earth is over are mysteries. Of course the religious aspect of either going to heaven or hell can be the main answer to the question. Growing up, religion has not had a significant role in my life. Until I encountered this experience, I never have questioned my belief system. I don’t have a religious perspective on what to believe in. I believe in having a good set of morals and a strong faith in God and I believe that will get someone where they need to be. I believe that God was the creator and left us humans on this planet to control our own destiny. I truly think someone can’t question their beliefs until a tragic event has occurred in their life. Someone may have a very strong faith in God or their religion, but it gets tested by a tragic events.
His life was so short. Why? It was a freakish accident. Happened out of the blue. So quickly. Why him? He left us. So many unanswered questions. Never answered. Weird. Scary.
For the past year and some months that it has been, I feel as though it has changed me to a certain extent. Nothing too drastic, but I feel I see things a little differently than before. My friend wouldn’t want everyone that has been affected by his death to just continue to morn over the loss. He would want everyone to continue living their lives to the fullest. One thing that I take from him is living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment that we have been given here on earth. He always had a smile on his face and was having a good time. His death has given me a more positive outlook, taught me to enjoy every opportunity, as it may be the last, because we may never know when our time is up. It makes me think that when I’m in a bad mood or something hasn’t gone my way that it’s just something minor that can be overcome. There is no need to dwell on the bad moments, as you are still fortunate to be living. My friend attended a Christian church back in our hometown not regularly, but here and there, nothing too serious. I assume that he believed in God and believed he would go to heaven when he passed away. I know he didn’t appear to show much concern towards his religious faith, but should he have since his life was taken unexpectedly from a freak accident? When he was pronounced dead on the scene did God take him to heaven? Did he do all the right things in order to be accepted? I feel as though he may be everyone’s guardian angel watching out over everyone he has had an impact on. If so, maybe everyone might get to see him in our after life if there is such a concept.
Gone. But never forgotten. Little signs. Appear. As if he is still around. A place in everyone’s heart. Not to be forgotten. Forever.
Before this event occurred, I assumed there was no particular direction in life; I believed that each individual decision that a person makes has an effect on the outcome in their future. For instance, if my friend were able to go back in time and redo the same situation again, if he slammed on the brakes a little differently or turned a little more while he was swerving out of control, would he still be living? Your actions and decisions play a vital role in your life, whether it comes to making life decisions for the future or thinking ahead for what the consequences may be. I never really thought that maybe our lives as humans have a predestined future that is set in stone. But after this incident I may have come to believe that there is a possibility that our lives may have a mapped out future over which we do not have any control.     
I always wonder where my friend’s beliefs stood and also what his parents believe on the matter. I never feel, that it’s my place to ask them about the matter as they have suffered an event that no parent ever wants to experience. Life is a fascinating concept and it always brings me into a deep thought that either freaks me out or just loses me in its complexity. I feel as if I need to start attending church to have a belief system that I can follow instead of my random thoughts and theories that may not make any sense or have any meaning. Now I feel as though I should follow my religion in order to have a sense of direction. If there is a heaven I want to go, I feel as if I need to do something in order to preserve my spot. I feel as though there are a lot of theories behind the meaning of life on earth, but the true answers may never be known. It is hard not knowing what lies in the future of our lives, because we are unable to plan what is ahead of us. As Borges points out in The Circle Ruins, “in happiness or in mere confusion; it was only natural that the sorcerer should fear for the future…” (100). It’s difficult not to know the future, as I am in constant search for answers as to how to feel. Like the man in the story was confused, “both in sleep and when awake, pondered his phantasms’ answers; he did not allow himself to be taken in by imposters, and he sensed in certain perplexities a growing intelligence. He was seeking a soul worthy of taking its place in the universe” (97). I like to know the consequences of my actions beforehand, but it is impossible to figure that out. I have felt that maybe if I could have done something to change the outcome of the situation that caused my friends death I would have. But this is not the world that we live in and you cannot prevent events from occurring if they are ultimately destined to happen. We are supposed to live our lives and make decisions in the direction of our choice, but in the end we have no control over what the final outcome is going to be. Life is truly unexpected, so you can’t change your predestination. You live life as it is given, and make the best of the opportunities that are given and wait for you predestined paths outcome.

                                           Works Cited

Borges, Jorge L. The Circle Ruins. New York: Penguin, 1998. Print.

1 comment:

  1. What I like: I like the style, complete with the sudden questions and the short, sometimes weird answers. This is a style which seems appropriate to someone in this state of mind. The style is somewhat confused, and that's appropriate. I also like the shift toward Borges at the end. You're making "The Circular Ruins" into a story about chaos and confusion. You know, that's not at all an obvious reading, and this story could easily have turned into half story (as above) and half essay (relating it to your more thoroughly justified interpretation of the story). But it's an interesting reading, and you've provided it with some foundation. In fact, you're very brief analysis of a couple quotes from "The Circular Ruins" may be the best critical work you've done this semester.

    What I don't like: The story itself hasn't grown much. It's still very personal (whether real or or fictional) in an very *abstract* way. We get a description of the death, and a handful of promising descriptions of the dead friend, but the narrator's reactions are all general, abstract. There are no scenes: "In situation x I did y, which was crazy/sad/weird, but then realized afterward how that relates to the death of my friend." That's just a crude summary of how scenes might work here - but even Borges, as weird and abstract as *he* is, puts his characters in scenes, where they do things, no matter how bizarre.

    Short version: This has some interest and merit; I would have been happier if either the Borges section had been more thoroughly developed, or if the story had become more detailed and concrete, with fleshed out characters.