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Paradise Now
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About: Paradise Now, A Memoir

Will I live or die?

A major heart attack confronted me with the question I had avoided like plague. Wait, wait, wait. Why the question? Isn’t death supposed to happen to the next guy and not to me? “You are the “chosen” one, respond to the question, will you die, or live?” An alarm went off in my mind ringing danger. Death is at hand.

My system shifted to an overdrive. Run, hide, get away now. Where? Has anyone ever outpaced death? I had to face dying; having built no defenses to the last act in life, fear of death consumed me to the bones.

The emergency angioplasty revealed two blocked arteries 95 and 97%. In my weak condition post heart attack, the body could tolerate only one stent.
The other blockage had to wait for a four weeks recovery period. The waiting period posed the risk of death.

This memoir is about the four weeks waiting period and the uncertainty of life. With the life in limbo the Persian star of poetry, the poet of uncertainty, entered my consciousness. I remembered father’s favorite verses of Omar Khayyam.

In the grip of fear of death, could Khayyam poetry provide any answers? A way forward? Now that I must face death, what is the redeeming quality of those poems? There must be a reason they are pouring into my being.

I began my search for the alchemical gold in the rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Particularly, my father’s favorite verses that I had heard as a five year old boy. Now rediscovered as an adult who is facing death but wanting to live forever!