The in-between

This Life flays the Soul

Disparate parts, decaying, lifeless

Strips the Spirit bare of Meaning

I circle through Life again and again

Searching for the Spark of Joy

Spoken of in childhood hopes and scattered dreams

Until Death holds me by the throat

I choke on this thing called Life

For there are no answers here

In the in-between

Only whispered lies and false promises

-Jason B

 

 

I open at the close; Death and sacrifice

I open at the close.

I still remember the first time I read those words in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and had to work through the idea that Harry was going to die.

I remember feeling disbelief, rage, disbelief again and finally despair.

I had been through so much with Harry, and even though it infuriated me that it had come to this end, I had to accept the outcome because, after all, this wasn’t my story.

Luckily for me Harry ended up surviving, and all my emotional tumult was wasted. Yet even though I have re-read Harry Potter dozens and dozens…and possibly dozens more times since I was a child, every damn time I get to that part in the book I get super emotional. I realized a long time ago that it wasn’t about the fact that Harry would die(seemingly!), but more so that he was ready to make that choice. For someone that young to choose to die so that others would simply have a chance at a safer life was truly a beautiful ending for someone who had given all(albeit for nonsensical reasons due to the fact that half the stuff in Harry Potter is plain stupid, and I say this with deep love for the books!).

Self- sacrifice to something bigger than yourself is a difficult concept for many as we all live in such a narcissistic bubble these days, but it is the foundation of most hero stories and is what draws us to many of the characters in well known books and shows.

The idea of the hero is so pervasive because it touches upon a core issue for many of us, which is to push away that deep biological drive to save ourselves.  The hero does not want to die, but she believes that the responsibility to aid others is paramount and is worth dying for.

I think the world would be a very different place if each of us had something we felt was worth dying for, because it would give a deep sense of purpose to our lives.

In the end, death is the final chapter. Whether hero or villain we all must walk through its doors in the end. The reality of death pervades all life, sweetens it and terrifies the shit out of us.

The question is whether at the end of it all, we can look back upon our lives and know that, at the very least, we tried to stand by our beliefs.  Tried to figure out who we wanted to be, and strove towards those ideals.

And if you are one of those great souls who gives their lives in service to whatever your ideals are, hats off to you.

I will leave off with this little story pulled from the book bird by bird by Anne Lamott, because I believe innocence and the heroic many times go hand and hand.

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Make the right choice

Nature is our beginning and our end. We are birthed into this world with no purpose other than survival and procreation. But although our primary purpose may seem meaningless in the grand scheme of things, nature has allowed us a wide breadth of experience and choices in between birth and death to find joy and create our own inner purpose.

We are left with only 2 truly important choices in this life.

We must choose in our minds the reason why we wish to live, and how we wish to face our inevitable deaths.

Unbound, with courage.

Or filled with fear and ignorance.

Make the right choice.

The ethics of meat eating

I find the current focus on pulling away from eating animals to be quite strange.

Don’t get me wrong, I am completely against showing cruelty towards any creature, whether a mammal or insect or even plants.

We should all develop a greater respect for the natural world, but many others take that to mean we should never eat another animal, whereas I take that as another aspect of human ego attempting to elevate ourselves above nature.

Part of respecting an animal means respecting the natural order of the world. All animals, in one way or another, are a part of the cycle of life and death. Even herbivores will eat insects, and plants are sentient in their own way.

Everything in nature survives through the death of other creatures, whether through the fertilization of soil through the body of a dead animal or the feces leftover from another animals last meal.

Life to death, death to life. This is how the Earth functions, and trying to make humans into this special creature that can go past that is simply pure arrogance, usually coming about because of peoples intense inability to deal with our being animals and the inevitable endpoint of life.

Again, we should all strive to create a system where the animals we raise or hunt are treated as kindly as possible so that the lives they live are as peaceful as possible, but that does not mean that we can suddenly let them all loose and live in a utopia where death does not exist.

Everything dies, and most of the natural world dies through the actions of another creature.

Accepting this facet of life is the first step to truly learning a deep and profound respect for the existence of all creatures, especially those that feed us and nourish our bodies and spirits so that we may continue to live on this planet.

I hope people awaken to this fact one day, or at least have a better perspective when choosing to forgo eating meat.