Perhaps the deepest reason why we are afraid of death is because we do not know who we are. We believe in a personal, unique, and separate identity; but if we dare to examine it, we find that this identity depends entirely on an endless collection of things to prop it up: our name, our “biography,” our partners, family, home, job, friends, credit cards… It is on their fragile and transient support that we rely for our security. So when they are all taken away, will we have any idea of who we really are?
–Sogyal Rinpoche, from The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
This process begins with a drive to the DMV and ends with each new drivers license photo, updated in the state’s records database, accessible nationally. For one year I cycled through this process 20 times.