The infamous “they” say that everyone has a moment in life when they become aware of their own mortality, and the transience of human life. Today, I had such a moment. Not  in a moment of panic or danger, not a mind-that-bus-what-bus-splat moment, but something else entirely.  Indeed, to say I became aware of the transience of life rather than mortality may  be a better description.

For the first time, the value of a memorial became clear to me. In all my time delving into the depths of Egyptian religious thought, in contrast to what most people think of the religion, my focus has been on my own earhtly life, and the celestial life of the gods. My own post morten existence hasn’t really factored into things.

Until today, that is. I realised a big chunk of my identity, for all intents and purposes, has become a part of that which does not exist. Before I moved to the UK, I had a whole life in South East Asia. Friends, family, partners, co-workers and comrades, hopes, dreams and fears.

But it seems every day it slips more towards non-existence.  I realised today I have no photographs from that period of my life. Even my wedding was not photographed. Or was it? I and my ex have no photos of it, but the memory fades and I can’t remeber any being taken, but maybe they were. I was given a Keris, but I don’t have it now. I don’t even remember what happened to it. Like it doesn’t exist.  Almost no one from that period my life knows what I do, where I am, or even my name, now. And the same can be said of the people here.

A world, sometimes turbulent and painful, but sometimes warm and wonderful,  is sliding into annihilation. If my memory of the moments, faces, names and words exchanged fades into oblivion, and their memories do likewise… And, I don’t want it to.

Those events, those things which happened, words that were spoken, emotions that were felt, things I touched and held, foods I eat, images and sounds I remember, all shaped me and who I am.  A part of me is dying, and I don’t feel there is anything I can do to stop it.

And so, when I die, what will happen my current life? And so it is, that for hte first time, the full meaning of the afterlife and all that we do to ensure it really and truly hit home.

It is an overused saying to say that the offering cult and the tomb, and all they entail in images, words, actions and objects are a “machine” to see us safely into eternity. But it is true.  Rekhmira,  Hori,  Ramose… These people we know, remember and honour today, millenia after they went west. They are remembered, and the people and things that defined them and their lives are remembered. They are safe in their eternity. Were it not for them making the concious and deliberate effort to establish a place where there name would be recited, and remebered through ritual by their decendents, and in creating something that preserves and projects that memory accross time, they would no longer exist.

Hori, Ramose et. Al. Chose tombs, Kheti wrote satire (a man after my own heart), Ptah-Hotep wrote “Serious Stuff” (TL;DR!).  Scribes have their own kind of immortality. I hope and pray that my writings and my work (assuming I make it into that elite circle) be remembered in that same vein, so that I may exist. However, may it also be remebered that there was another part to my life in this world, one that was none the less special and precious to me, despite it’s turmult. Keeping that as part of my own existence may be more difficult, but I am not going to loose it.

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