Friday, January 1, 2016

Contemplating Death

To be honest, I just needed a place to house some introspective cynicism.
Viola! My blog. Forever my punching bag.

Disclaimer: This post is quite the downer. And though I'm generally turned off by negativity for its own sake, I suppose everything has its season.
When you see me in the world, I'm probably laughing and making grossly inappropriate comments far too loudly. That's normal and it won't stop. It's also part of my game-face. I'm taking it off for this post.
So take the following with a grain of salt.
Or a shot of whiskey.


The wind fell from my sails, as you might have noticed, and I've yet to reclaim it. My creativity is compromised. Online this is reflected in my lack of presence on this blog, on Facebook, Twitter, the Compendium, YouTube, and elsewhere. Offline it culminates in a multitude of ways, including driving me from my writing. However, with great effort I've made consistent, albeit slow, progress in the story I'm currently writing.

I don't harp about it very much, online or elsewhere. I guess because nothing can be done for it so why bring it up? Just to hear myself complain? That only makes me want to punch me in the face. But today, while reflecting on the last year in general, I felt encumbered by it all. My best response to that is to unload on hapless visitors by means of the written word.

If you want details of the inciting incident which began my downward spiral, you'll have to root through my blog. Such is life. If it were easy, you wouldn't value it.

It's tough when death takes your baby. With most everyone else, you've experienced them long enough to invent a reason they brought it on themselves, whether or not they did. They earned it, even if only a little. Don't lie. You do this. It's one way we cope.
They should never have gone there. 
They shouldn't have done the thing.
If only they'd stopped doing that. 
Maybe this helps us believe we've learned something, grown wiser, and now tragedy will not befall us again. Perhaps that particular tragedy won't. But tragedy is far more creative than you, or any person or group of people, can ever hope to be.
Never say, "It can't get worse than this," or perhaps you'll learn just how creative tragedy can be.

I can't really compare losing a child to anything I've ever experienced. Death has come for my friends and family before, even close friends and close family. Death has even returned since July. In August my uncle died. He was my last remaining blood relative outside my immediate family. The ties I had to my parents homelands of Ohio and Mississippi are now severed completely.

He was my mom's brother and his generally accepted name from us was Uncle Bro. No, this is not some deep-south embarrassing lineage ordeal, ripe for Maury. My sisters and I just heard Dad call him "Brother" when we were young so we'd call him Uncle Brother. Then Uncle Bro. Then Unc Bro. My parents called him Steve. Or Uncle Steve. But I learned in August that Steve isn't his name. In fact Steve is nowhere in his name...
When I was younger he reminded me of Harrison Ford from the Indiana Jones movies. Maybe because he was cooler than my parents (he gave me my first guitar and let me watch Terminator 2 and Predator) and always had a brown jacket and an Indie-looking hat with a full brim.
Now I have his brown jacket.

Death is unique with each situation. I hope to never catch myself telling someone I understand their pain, whether they've lost a grandparent, close friend, sister, daughter, or uncle. Because I don't. And they don't understand mine. Bray and I don't fully understand each other's grief and we experienced the exact same loss.
If I've learned anything, it's this: the best thing I can do for a griever is acknowledge their pain and assure them I'm not okay either.

On the flip side, if you're grieving and you're finding yourself frequently offended or turned off by what people are saying or doing, whether intentionally or not, re-read the above. They don't understand. No matter what they have been through, more or less, better or worse, they don't understand how you feel or what you need.
Try to lighten up. Far worse things than ill-advised words falling upon your sensitive ears can befall you. You know this all too well.
Try to forgive their iniquity before they're gone forever.

This post has no particular place to be. But I'll wrap it up with an excerpt from an old Latin poem - O Fortuna.
Some passage herein will soon be tattooed down my left side, along my rib cage.
Rib cage... what a disgusting phrase. Rib cage. Might as well be called organ closet. Or meat box.

and empty,
you whirling wheel,
you are malevolent,
well-being is vain
and always fades to nothing,
and veiled
you plague me too;
now through the game
I bring my bare back
to your villainy.

I'm fine. And if I'm not, I will be.
And if not, you will. And if you won't, someone will.
And if no one will be fine and we all fall away, the earth will thrive for a time then dry up. The universe will proceed, unconcerned, until it reaches maximum entropy and experiences heat death.
During that process, it will feel our pain.
Take heart in that.

I owe you guys some serious sunshine after this one.

Happy New Year!


  1. Replies
    1. Hey.
      Thank you. Good luck with the video challenge. You're gonna need it. (spoken in Han Solo voice)

  2. I had a pretty crummy year, too. Eventually good things will start to happen, too. Life is far too random to keep throwing only negative things at you.

  3. David, I'm so sorry that somehow I missed all you've been going through in the chaos of my own life. I hate that that can happen, that we can be so caught up in our own worlds that we miss reaching out to others. I am really sorry for that.
    And I am so, so sorry for your loss. You're right. I have a pretty good imagination, but I know it can't even take me close to knowing what you've been going through. I know this sounds trite, but I will be praying for you and all your family (and I don't say that lightly).

  4. I find myself thinking of death all the time, but I think that's what writers and people with a family/mortage tend to do. It's what we do with those thoughts that defines us. Stay strong:)

    1. Well said, Mark. I thought about death (and other unpopular topics) before as well, but never with this vantage point.
      I am obligated to do something with these experiences, and the best option that immediately comes to mind is us them to fuel real stories, albeit populated with fantasy monsters, characters, locations, and magic.


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