The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?

~ Edgar Allan Poe ~


Writers are not unique in their seeming preoccupation with death; they are scribes who capture in words the emotions we all experience and the thoughts and questions swirling in our brains. Some writers—like Edgar Allan Poe and John Donne and Emily Dickinson and William Shakespeare—are especially astute in their observations about death and our feelings about it. They express with uncommon clarity the enormity of life’s closure. But their words often acknowledge the mystery of death is a mirror image of the mystery of life that precedes it. Humankind, from the beginning of our species’ consciousness, has questioned the meaning of life. We are no closer to answering that question today than our predecessors were in the earliest moments of awareness.  Life and death are eternal mysteries. Yet we sense—or we choose to believe—they both have meaning. That belief can supply comfort, especially when confronting the inevitable ends of the lives of people who matter to us. And, as we reflect on the impact of people close to us who have died, we rightfully conclude their lives had meaning to us and that their absence will be deeply felt. Maybe that is the closest we will come to answering the question of the meaning of life. Perhaps the meaning of individuals’ lives and deaths is not vast and universal but, instead, focused and precise and intimate. Celebration of a life that touches our own, it seems to me, should be a longer-lasting response to a death than is perpetual mournful sadness.


…send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

~ John Donne ~


A bit more than two years ago, I immersed myself in the Danish television series, Borgen. As I finished watching the third season, I lamented the fact that I would have to wait until at least late 2022 to watch another season, when it was planned for release on Danish television. Mi novia had not watched any of the first three seasons, but I wanted to watch the new season with her. I decided to refresh my memory in preparation for the new season. So, we have begun making our way through the first three seasons; a repeat for me, a new experience for her. In my view, it is just as good the second time around. That being said, I can hardly wait to finish the first three seasons so I can watch the next one, which is entitled, Borgen: Power & Glory. If anyone who reads this has watched or is watching Borgen, I would be curious to learn of others’ reactions to the program.



About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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