Each of us lives most fully 'on the wire' in the face of death, daring to do the very thing which fear prevents us from.
:: Akira Kurosawa, Ikiru, 1952
I was reading Christopher Alexander's A Timeless Way of Building during a recent trip to Greece and he reference this line from Ikiru. I remember watching this movie with my Father (who is a big Kurosawa fan) as a teenager/young adult and being very touched and engrossed by the story. Kurosawa had an exquisite way of enfolding your with deep characters and meticulously crafted settings to create truly human stories. I saw this movie before my own brush with cancer, and will now carve out some time to revisit it to see how my perspective has changed. I don't remember feeling an urgency to give meaning to my life during my illness, more of a determination to overcome and move forward. I had much more to do and a lot that was already in motion, moving to New York and starting grad school, to worry about mortality. There is, however, still a small pit inside of me from the fear and uncertainty of those years, a feeling that creeps up and feeds the fire to more forward into the unknown, into challenges and discoveries.