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tower of light

April 2017

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tower of light

Norwegian Wood and Cape Sounion

By living our lives, we nurture death. True as this might be, it was only one of the truths we had to learn. ... No truth can cure the sadness we feel from losing a loved one. No truth, no sincerity, no strength, no kindness, can cure that sorrow. All we can do is see that sadness through to the end and learn something from it, but what we learn will be no help in facing the next sadness that comes to us without warning.

I was not in shock. Not exactly. And for some reason there was no denial. He is (was) loved by so many, in Europe and far, far beyond. Somehow I feel like I have no right to mourn, because all I have done was admiring him from afar. For atheists such as myself, there is a very blunt finality afforded by death—that thin but irrevocable line between is and is not. Johan has, as they say in America, left the building.

And what can I say about that? Nothing really. I did not live in his time. Like a lazy tourist arriving late at the Cape of Sounion, I had only managed to witness the very last glimpses of the magnificent sunset that was his later life. Tomorrow the sun rises anew, and there will be a thousand more sunsets. They will mesmerize and seduce the world with their exhilarating glories, but none of them will be him, and none of them will be his.

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