Photo credit: Boris Taratutin, picture from Flickr, original can be found here
I'm fascinated by the multifaceted-ness of people; the way a person can be peeled like an onion, layer by layer until you reach the core of who they are and you realize what they're really made of. Stylings, pretensions, and facades on the surface, and then deeper into politics, religion, morals, stories, habits, inner-thoughts, secrets, shames, relations, hopes, dreams, and expectations. It thrills me. So try and peel back my layers. Maybe behind a seemingly chaotic array of post and information, you'll see a real person.
Whenever I pass a cemetery, I can't help but imagine who each person was. Every one of them had a Mom and a Dad who loved them. Maybe they left behind a brother, and perhaps children. What did they believe? What were their secrets? Who were they, REALLY? And it always leads me back to the same questions; can someone really live and then die and be forgotten like this? A. Sachs is quoted as saying "Death is more universal than life; everyone dies, but not everyone really lives". In 50 years, I might be dead, decaying, and forgotten. No matter what your views on the afterlife are, it's a little saddening to imagine a world that can continue as if it's just another day whether you're alive or dead. People will cry, they'll hear some of your life, songs will be sung, a coffin will be lowered, and then everyone will resume their life. Just another day.
If you've ever watched the movie adaptation of 'Night Mother, it was very cleverly staged. The basic plot of the movie, based off the play by Marsha Norman, is that a woman is going to kill herself. She is logically arranging the house so everyone can continue their lives when she tells her mother, who she lives with, of her plans; unemotional, just tired of living. If you haven't seen it, it's worth a few hours. Anyway, the last scene is a view of the house and a gunshot is heard. The angle is the same as it opened. Cars pass by, unknowing to what has just happened. The significance of the moment is that nothing happens. Nothing at all. It's just another day.
There are two ways to interpret the brevity of our lives; to accept an overwhelmingly depressing fact that our lives are, in fact, futile and are "but a walking shadow. A poor player/ That struts and frets his hour upon the stage/ And then is heard no more" (Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5, lines 26-28), or that we have been given a miraculous gift to better future generations for the rest of human eternity, as Barbara Hall said "You're alive. Do something. The directive in life, the moral imperative was so uncomplicated. It could be expressed in single words, not complete sentences. It sounded like this: Look. Listen. Choose. Act."
What do you choose? Do you take from the tree you have been given and eat the fruit or bury the seed so future generations will enjoy it?