People of zee wurl, relax!"
The glow sputtered out.
Nothingness replaced it.
And that was that.
Sorry about that. I just saw a connection with Fierce Invalids and couldn't resist.
To continue: Antoine's life isn't a real one, and this is the book's message for me. It is right and proper to contemplate these issues from time to time. But give them their time that is due, and no more. The key lines aren't in the "big heavy" passages for me. They are in those little "epitaphs", and especially in the last one: "All my life, I've let myself die" and the message is, don't.
It seems I am in quoting mood today. I'm going to post a poem that I found on an Inspiration thread one time. I have no idea who posted it there - apologies to them - and thanks, because this is a piece that I have taken to heart, and so has everyone else whom I have shown it to.
Dies slowly he who transforms himself in slave of habit,
repeating every day the same itineraries,
who does not change brand,
does not risk to wear a new color and doesn't talk to whom he doesn't know.
Dies slowly he who makes of television his guru.
Dies slowly he who avoids a passion,
who prefers black to white
and the dots on the "i" to a whirlpool of emotions,
just those ones that recover the gleam from the eyes,
smiles from the yawns,
hearts from the stumbling and feelings.
Dies slowly he who does not overthrow the table when he is unhappy at work,
who does not risk the certain for the uncertain
to go toward that dream that is keeping him awake.
Who does not allow, at least one time in life, to flee from sensate advises.
Dies slowly he who does not travel, does not read,
does not listen to music, who does not find grace in himself.
Dies slowly he who destroys his self love,
who does not accept somebody's help.
Dies slowly he who passes his days complaining of his bad luck or the incessant rain.
Dies slowly he who abandons a project before starting it,
who does not ask over a subject that he does not know
or who does not answer when being asked about something he knows.
Dies slowly he who does not share his emotions, joys and sadness,
who does not trust, who does not even try.
Dies slowly he who does not relive his memories
and continues getting emotional as if living them at that moment.
Dies slowly he who does not intent excelling,
who does not learn from the stones of the road of life,
who does not love and let somebody love.
Let's avoid death in soft quotes,
remembering always that to be alive demands an effort much bigger
than the simple fact of breathing.
I want to thank everyone for your fantastic contributions. I have thoroughly enjoyed the thought-provoking discussions, organised as always by our wonderful moderators.