left biblioblography: With The Feel Of Death’s Breath Upon Our Napes, What Tales We Spin

Sunday, November 01, 2009

With The Feel Of Death’s Breath Upon Our Napes, What Tales We Spin

Cross posted @ God Is 4 Suckers!yerka_450

That quarter of the year is upon us now: when Fall’s chill threatens Winter’s white cold, and the snow and darkness remind us of our mortality.

As we are the creatures who are self-aware, and from that springs our awareness that each of us will end some day, we as a species draw strange maps of nowhere, calling upon vague shadows to hear our supplications, and some among us will lay claim to that most ephemeral of claims, the mantle of immortality.

In some ways, it is to be expected. We see our loved ones pass – we watch also the passage of strangers and acquaintances alike. It is a foible, this superstition that we tell our neural pathways, this insistence that we should rise, become some other, wisps of energy to be reunited by other wisps, to whisper to those that have gone before, and say hello, I’ve missed you sorely, and that the pain of passage is assuaged, we are all together now, as it should be.

It is also only human, to hope for a redress of the grievances visited upon us by others in this short-lived life, and to imagine there are reckonings amid the shadows and dark places.

Such are the banes of consciousness. The human animal perceives that there’s a beginning to its life, and after some years, an end. But also observes that many things in nature run in cycles, and deludes itself that there’s some cyclic undercurrent as to the state of consciousness, and sees also the inherent unfairness of having learned so very many things, and the knowledge ending upon death. (Of course this can be passed on to others of the pack, but still, it seems unjust.)

So it is the onset of winter that our (some of us blatantly, others subliminally) thoughts may turn to ending. We see the four season in ourselves, microcosmically: spring as birth, summer as youth, fall as middle age, winter as dotage.

As the animal who perceives, we spin tales, we construct elaborate rituals and dances, some of us dancing widdershins upon the heath and jump the bonfire and telling old rumors like true stories, others among us hide within stone walls and sackcloth and print voluminous tomes that recount badly remembered cautionary tales from another age, and yet others unfold and create metaphorical origami that is pleasant to the ear and the mind’s eye but anachronistic and of little use in reality.

And to forestall the inevitable end, we build cathedrals and monuments and graveyards and mausoleums to the beloved dead, and useless monks intone futile hymns to the unproven afterlife, in hopes of shoring up some form of invisible capital like karmic interest, and preparing a road where none lay.

Life is precious, and its passing sadness. But denying death and claiming life everlasting has led to naught but madness.

While there is no soul, life is good, there is no hole in us that cannot be filled by ourselves. We are all stardust dancing in this cloak of flesh, and the loss of the supernatural is a boon to the heart, and we dance, awkwardly or with grace, to the end, smiling, for life has been good for it has been there, and the inevitable quiet is to be embraced and not feared, for a human end should be soft and calm and good, to be painless it is hoped, and a life fully lived need not be shot through with regrets.

I hope your Halloween was a happy one, and may all your tricks be kind ones, and all your treats be pleasant both before and after.

Till the next post, then.

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John Morales said...

Hm. Your audience is not limited to the northern hemisphere.

Here in Australia, it's spring, and summer is nigh. :)

Krystalline Apostate said...

Thanks for that reminder, John. Apologies. But were I to write for all peoples everywhere, I'd not get a jot written.

John Morales said...

KA, good point.

I should've added that I found this a most excellent post, and it was a pleasure to read it.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Much thanks, John.