Written by Tori Dudys, photos by Janine Lameiras
We’re breathing now, but one day we won’t be.
Each time I stand next to a huge body of water, vast mountains, deep caves, or any other overwhelming natural phenomena, I’m always reminded of how small I really am, and how close every person on this planet is to not existing. I know, that’s cheesy, and morose to say. But honestly I’ve never felt more insignificant or human than when I sat near the ocean at the bottom of the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland.
There were hundreds of tourists around so I had to dig deep in the trenches of my inner introversion but in an attempt to seek mental refuge from these thoughts of dying I managed to transport myself to a world where every life wasn’t wavering on a wrong step or miscalculated movement. A place where everyone lived forever.
A few days before seeing the Causeway, I had an interesting conversation with a man I met in the beautiful city of Oban, Scotland. A bit drunkenly—and by a bit I mean a lot on my part—we discussed important things like the environment and immigration laws, and not-so important things like music and movies. But what struck me the most was when we somehow got onto the topic of our very old and sick grandfathers (there’s no subject too bold during an epic conversation with a stranger).
He made an interesting point about aging. One I’ve thought much about in the last few months. The idea that no matter how young we think we are and no matter how many steps we take to look and feel younger, we will always become more and more inhibited by our increasing number of physical limitations. We’re only as strong as our bodies and that’s disturbing when you consider how fragile these bodies actually are. An edge of a piece of paper can slice our skin.
Though it’s terrifying to think about this physical fragility, and the impending doom with which we are all faced, maybe it’s our mortality that makes places like the Giant’s Causeway that much more special and awe-inspiring. They remind us of our impermanence and how we may never get the chance to be in that exact spot ever again. Whether it’s huge rocks by the water in an unfamiliar country, or your favourite tree in your front yard, it’s worth it to remember how special our lives are and how incredible everything around us is because, quite frankly, we’re breathing now, but one day we won’t be.