We may, indeed, say that the hour of death is uncertain, but when we say this we think of that hour as situated in a vague and remote expanse of time; it does not occur to us that it can have any connection with the day that has already dawned and can mean that death may occur this very afternoon, so far from uncertain, this afternoon whose timetable, hour by hour, has been settled in advance.
One insists on one’s daily outing, so that in a month’s time one will have had the necessary ration of fresh air; one has hesitated over which coat to take, which cabman to call; one is in the cab, the whole day lies before one; short because one must be back home early, as a friend is come to see one; one hopes it will be as fine again tomorrow; and has no suspicion that death, which has been advancing within one on another plane, has chosen precisely this particular day to make its appearance in a few minutes’ time…
- Marcel Proust, The Guermantes Way, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff
I was goose bumped reading these lines in Spiritual Link this morning. At first they kind of saddened me, but they are also very enlightening and true words. If we live thinking that the most certain thing about our life can come to us anytime, we’d be such different individuals. Our approach to people and life will be so different.