Death exists, not as the opposite but as a part of life.
Translated into words, it’s a cliché, but at the time I felt it not as words but as that knot of air inside me. Death exists — in a paperweight, in four red and white balls on a billiard table — and we go on living and breathing it into our lungs like fine dust.
Until that time, I had understood death as something entirely separate from and independent of life. The hand of death is bound to take us, I had felt, but until the day it reaches out for us, it leaves us alone. This had seemed to me the simple, logical truth. Life is here, death is over there.
I am here, not over there.