Somebody once asked Woody Allen “Are you trying to achieve immortality through your films?”
His great response was, “I’d rather achieve immortality through not dying.”
I’ve been reflecting on that idea: immortality.
Almost every secular movie ever made, when somebody is dying, and somebody else is all sad about it, the dying person says “I’ll always be with you: in your heart and memories.”
My first response is a bit off a riff off of Woody Allen. “I’d rather live forever outside of somebody’s heart.”
But my second thought is that even without the hope of an afterlife, the secular world can do better.
My grandmother passed away a few months back. I loved here dearly. She was often a rather un-grandmotherly lady. She taught me to play poker. She was probably the best poker player I’ve ever known. And she never let me win.
She was loving and gentle, but she had this whole stable of hilarious, provacative, and borderline obscene sayings. I’m about to swear for pretty much the first time on this blog. All you senestive souls probably want to go read “Guideposts” or something.
Two in particular I remember “That’s uglier than a bucket full of a$$ holes” and “It’s colder than a witch’s tit”
My grandmother impacted me. She changed who I am. I think most people who know me would consider me both gentle and provacative. I don’t generally let my kids win when we play games.
I am changing the world through these, and many more important ways. I will be dead someday. And the people who I impact will change the world, too.
I truly believe we will live forever in a much more literal way. There is that kind of immortality.
But that doesn’t diminish this kind of immortality. Yes, I remember my grandmother. But more than that, I’ve been changed by her, made a better person by her. This is no small thing, and it’s a much bigger thing than mere memories.