Posts tagged ‘death’

On Saying Goodbye

Losing a loved one is never easy. Whether a partner in life, a friend, or family member, it is one of the most painful experiences. Having to say goodbye when one is not ready is devastating, and it may render a person numb out of an unexpected dose of pain. One of the secondary themes in my novel The Five-dollar Miracle is the loss of a spouse, and the feelings and emotions that go with it.

Last year I experienced the loss of loved ones, and just a few weeks after I had finished writing a chapter dealing with this topic, a friend died unexpectedly leaving her partner experiencing the feelings of pain, loss, desolation, and so many other emotions that can only be described by someone who has gone through it.

As writers, we draw from our experiences when we try to convey through our writing, and the rest we imagine or draw from observation; we try to do the best we can when portraying what we have not experienced. Many times, we place ourselves in those situations fictionally, and try to understand or visualize the array of emotions surrounding a particular situation. At other times, inspiration seems to take our hand and guide us in our writing. We try our best, and as writers that is all we can do, but I can say with certainty that our writing will only match the synergy of our experience.

On Death

I am fascinated by Death, as a character. I like Death as a neutral being, for lack of a better fitting word. Death has been misrepresented, or ill-presented. Death is the elephant in the room; no one wants to think or talk about it. When we think of Death, we do it in a negative way. Death is unfair, scary, sad, a punishment, evil … . We try to cheat Death; we want to live as long as we can. We become healthier, exercise, eat well, take vitamins … just to live longer, to avoid meeting with Death. We cling to youth in many ways (creams, Botox, plastic surgery …) because by growing old we think we become closer to Death, and that scares us.

In movies, the hero cheats Death, saves others, and beats Death. We dream of vampires, eternal life, and we rather turn into a werewolf than face Death. It is only when the Vampire or the Werewolf (or any other creature) represents the threat of death that we destroy it, and we cheer – ah, we are safe. We put people on Death row for a long time, as if the wait prolongs the suffering.  Death doesn’t even have a face; it is represented as the ripper covered in a black-gray tunic who appears unexpected, uninvited, carrying its weapon of destruction. Even in suicide, the person does not embrace Death; instead, the person escapes life. However, Death doesn’t destroy at will (but we do); it doesn’t seem to have one. Death doesn’t take lives by choice (we do), and it doesn’t seem to enjoy its duty. Death only is, and it is always on time.

So this morning, as I pondered on this character who is so misunderstood and hated, I wrote Death a poem. Here it is, and I hope you enjoy it or at least that it gives you a different perspective.

Requiem
I do not belong
Nor do I seek.
Nor Heaven nor Hell
I wander the Earth.

Who am I?
Human at best?
Hint of divine?
Of evil a speck?

Of grace and humankind
The Earth is tired.
The ice a blanket throws
Blue hearts, frozen desires.

Divine, Evil, Human, morass.
Tired Earth Dooms Day awakes.
Melting core, frozen bones, at last
The apocalyptic boom, the end.

Nor who, nor what
Serving the times, perpetual task.
No will, no cry
Angel of Death, on time I am.

Leave Behind What Does Not Fit

Life is a cycle. We are born, grow up, mature, age, and die, but during that time, we are being reborn over and over, not only physically as our organism regenerates, but also, mentally and spiritually. We go trough many experiences that shape and mold our thinking, our souls, leading to spiritual growth while developing our humanity. This growth is as personal as it can get, individual and unique. What may seem unfair for someone is what the person/spirit needs to advance to the next level.

Imagine a perfect life where everything is in balance at all times, where there is no conflict and things always work the way it is expected. How can there be growth? Many times, we observe the person who seems to have the perfect life according to our definition of “the perfect life” and that person seems to be going through a rough patch. Immediately, we put on our judgement glasses and we cannot understand how is possible for Mr. or Mrs. Perfect Life to even feel challenged in her/his environment. Our human minds cannot accept or comprehend it. However, if we take off our judgement glasses and put on spiritual glasses we see that the person is going through his/her own growth cycle and the experience is unique, and at a different level than our own. What that person feels and experiences is what is necessary for the spirit to move along the journey. Sometimes there is growth and sometimes there isn’t, and that is a decision that every soul in the planet has to make according to the choices presented and the opportunity to choose. The adage, “To each, its own” says it well.

When we are experiencing the challenges of life, the opportunities to grow spiritually and humanely, we get the chance to reevaluate our lives, the challenge, past and present experiences, and look into the future with new eyes. We are given the opportunity to leave behind what does not fit anymore, and change armor. We all do it throughout our lives, at our own level and pace. In order to grow, it is necessary to leave behind that which does not fit our Now.

Minding Feedback

Master Po (left) and Kwai Chang Caine (right) ...

Image via Wikipedia

Most of us enjoy getting comments about our work and getting feedback.  Sometimes, criticism may be harsh, rude, in bad taste, or just not appropriate.  When those types of comments are sent your way, they are not worth a response in the same tonality.  The way you respond to comments says a lot about you as a professional.  The way you leave comments for others and criticize the work of others says a lot about you as well.

Minding your own feedback as well as the feedback you leave for others should be up there in your priorities as a blogger.  I used to watch the TV series Kung Fu when I was a kid – I just loved the stories and loved the way David Carradine handled each challenge in the series.  In the series, he would say some philosophical lines from time to time.  One of his lines stood with me, until this day.  It went something like this – “When words are not better than silence, it is best not to pronounce them.”  I have taken that line to heart my entire life.  This applies to feedback left for others and the things that you have to say about someone’s work. 

If you have nothing good or edifying to say, say nothing.