This is a still life of the type known as vanitas, about the vanity of existence. The flower represents life blooming ever so briefly, then cut off and wilting. The skull reminds us we all die, memento mori. And the hourglass like that old soap opera, "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of Our Lives."
It's denial of reality that has got a lot of people into this never never land of immediate toddleresque self-gratification, and adolescent feeling of entitlement and denial of history. It is my goal to always remind myself I will die, so that I don't waste too much time in stuff that doesn't really matter anyways, and spend more time on things -and PEOPLE- that/who do
While Castaneda might have been a fraud on one level, he did write about some truths. One of those truths is that we all die, most of us not expecting it, and so I take Death as my advisor, as it is always at your left shoulder.
I am not being gloomy or morose or sad, just realistic. We do not live forever. In this way, I am reminded to be careful but also to live to the fullest. To live in each moment as if it were my last, in joy and not regret...because any breath could be my last.
I am 50, and I shall not reach 100, so more than half my life is over. I can clearly remember being 3 and 4, and life has gone more quickly than I thought possible, and time passes ever more swiftly. When I was 4 years old, one year was 1/4 of my life. 1/4 of my life now is a little over 12 years. Proportionately, 12 years today was like 1 year as a young child. No wonder time seems to speed up!
To squeeze each breath and each moment for its sweetest juice.