Senior Assistant Registrar
by Jack London
I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out
in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom
of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.
My primary association with this poem is to a girl named Mina. I donated my bone morrow to her when she was almost two years old. Along with the donation I gave the attending physician a letter, which included this poem. I explained my hope to her parents that their daughter would grow up to have the brightest spark with a magnificent glow. As we did not know each other at the time I wanted to wish them peace and decided to list it in every language. It turned out that the Wintu word for peace is Mina and that they live near Jack London’s home.