A third Thing to think about. From For Whom the Bell Tolls:
Living was a hawk in the sky. Living was an earthen jar of water in the dust of the threshing with the grain flailed out and the chaff blowing. Living was a horse between your legs and a carbine under one leg and a hill and a valley and a stream with trees along it and the far side of the valley and the hills beyond. --Ernest HemingwayIn this passage, we read the thoughts of El Sordo, a guerrillero leader fighting for the Republic in the Spanish Civil War. He is trapped on a hilltop with a few companions, surrounded by Fascist cavalry troopers. There is no escape. El Sordo and his comrades await the arrival of the Fascist air support which will bomb the hilltop and kill them all.
It is interesting to examine how El Sordo defines "living." It is "a hawk in the sky," "an earthen jar of water," "a hill and a valley and a stream with trees along it." In the eyes of some, these things he names, these things that are "living," might seem mundane or unremarkable. But, in the eyes of a man who is staring into the face of his own death...
Perhaps, given enough time, any of us might come to see life, to see living, in the same light as El Sordo. Perhaps, in time, living will mean a sleeping woman's arm across your chest; a pocked, pale moon reflected on the water; and a mountain pass with a falls and a round-stone river raging down to the valley.
In a way, El Sordo is lucky, is he not? His impossible situation has given him incredible focus. As death bears down on him, he is able to clearly recall what life has been, what it means to him.
How many of us get that?