Memento Mori All Day Long

Seneca, Moral Epistles 49.10-11

“What can I do? Death is stalking me; life is rushing away. Teach me something for these things. Make it so that I don’t flee death and life doesn’t flee me. Encourage me against what is difficult, but make me accept the inevitable. Make the tightening borders of my time relax.

Teach me that the good of life is not found in its length, but in its use. Show me as well how it happens all the time that someone who has lived long has lived too little. Tell me as I go to sleep, “You might not wake” and then when I awake, “you may not sleep any more”. When I leave my home, tell me “you might not return”. And when I come back, tell me “Maybe you won’t leave again.”

You’re wrong if you believe that only a sea journey brings life and death so close together–the distance between them is slim everywhere. There’s nowhere were death shows itself so close, but everywhere it remains near by.”

Quid agam? Mors me sequitur, fugit vita; adversus haec me doce aliquid. Effice, ut ego mortem non fugiam, vita me non effugiat. Exhortare adversus difficilia, adde aequanimitatem adversus inevitabilia. Angustias temporis mei laxa. Doce non esse positum bonum vitae in spatio eius, sed in usu, posse fieri, immo saepissime fieri, ut qui diu vixit, parum vixerit. Dic mihi dormituro: “Potes non expergisci”; dic experrecto: “Potes non dormire amplius.” Dic exeunti: “Potes non reverti”; dic redeunti: “Potes non exire.” Erras, si in navigatione tantum existimas minimum esse, quo a morte vita diducitur; in omni loco aeque tenue intervallum est. Non ubique se mors tam prope ostendit; ubique tam prope est.

sign saying "time is up. Please wrap up now."
from wikimedia commons

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