Tag Archives: death

Of Human Bondage

viniciuggarcia Pixabay

viniciusggarcis Pixabay

A dark, depressing book brings me some peace. That book is “Of Human Bondage” by Somerset Maugham.

In the novel, Philip loves Mildred, a woman that tortures him and never loves him back. He loses hope and questions the point of being alive. An acquaintance tells him the meaning of life can be found in a Persian carpet. Before he can unlock the mystery of the carpet it is destroyed.

Later on when he keeps thinking about the lost carpet, he unlocks the secret. The patterns in the carpet, the cycle of life and death, are all we have. Life has no meaning on this rock hurtling through space. But this insignificance gives Philip power.

Forget about the meaning of life and just find a place in the pattern. Failure and success are all the same. Just live as best as you can.

Nivana is a big nothingness in an Eastern culture. The elimination of life on earth is the goal.

My Western mindset pursues meaning in life. A life that does not end in death but continues on to a blissful, new afterlife.

The Eastern viewpoint makes more sense to me than the Western one.

It’s kind of odd that meaninglessness provides more comfort to me than everlasting life. Getting composted back into the All seems to be a useful occupation for the dead. Not too shabby to be One with the Cosmos.

But how much do my sensibilities matter in the grand scheme of things? For all I know, this universe may be running on Calvinist principles. If that hurts anyone’s sensibilities, no one cares.

Dark Arts and Crafts

One-word prompt: Craft


The Color of the Grave is Green —
The Outer Grave — I mean —
You would not know it from the Field —
Except it own a Stone —

To help the fond — to find it —
Too infinite asleep
To stop and tell them where it is—
But just a Daisy — deep —

The Color of the Grave is White —
The outer Grave  — I mean —
You would not know it from the Drifts —
In Winter — till the Sun —

Has furrowed out the Aisles —
Then — higher than the Land
The little Dwelling Houses rise
Where each — has left a friend —

The Color of the Grave within —
The Duplicate — I mean —
Not all the Snows could make it white —
Not all the Summers — Green —

You’ve seen the Color — maybe —
Upon a Bonnet bound —
When that you met it with before —
The Ferret — cannot find —

Emily Dickinson

Time travels faster today. Before I tire of the snow, a scorching summer appears. Magical, all because I’m old.

Death can show up within a minute or maybe within the next 40 years. I used to have an eternity to live when young. But if past practices hold true, I won’t live much longer.

Along with death, extra baggage haunts me. Not the kind used for travel, but the kind that lays around the house.

It might be making me insane. I’m searching through all closets, storage boxes, and drawers; all is fair game for recycling, repurposing, donating, or tossing. Sentimentality be damned.

Some of the insane part: I sorted through hundreds of buttons my mother had collected. They’re sorted by color and rest in individual trays or bags. I’m planning to make a garden mobile with these buttons. Let’s see if it happens this spring. Hundreds of buttons could create a few outside ornaments.

More insanity: I gathered every single extra, unused, old key in my house. I’m pretty confident about this since I don’t think I’ve left a dust bunny unturned. I love playing with those keys and try to imagine each one’s former purpose. What they unlocked, the when, and the where and the by whom. I plan to put a couple of the prettier ones, one gold and one silver, on necklaces. Some others are also destined for garden artwork. Google search — check to see if these projects show up in my backyard.

I’m editing my life away. Will I reach its essence? My son will only need to dispose of keys, buttons, a few books, and some other stuff I love or need. Every sweep through, more goes and goes.

Someday I may look in my closet and find only one grain of rice. Will that bring me peace?

I know I can’t take it with me. I’ll take care not to get too attached to this earth. ED, I won’t wander too far from my room; preparing for one beneath the grass and snow.

The cut may hurt less if renunciation mingles with fleeting joys. If only I could report back.

Death Calls But Does Not Conquer

I have no power over zombies, vampires, or ghosts. I only know how to ward off telemarketers.

My father bought two burial sites in two different states.

The first one is in a mausoleum in Michigan. This double-occupancy crypt holds his predeceased second wife.

The second one, in Florida, is in a mausoleum about 20 yards from his third wife. She occupies a space in the ground next to her first husband.

English: Woodlawn Cemetery Mausoleum in Detroi...

English: Woodlawn Cemetery Mausoleum in Detroit, Michigan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My father decided to spend eternity in the Florida location. He consistently chose the mausoleum theme because I think he feared the six-feet-under idea and the above ground burial suited him better. Farther away from the cold earth and worms I guess.

Anyway back to the telemarketers.

One day I answered the phone and was greeted by a salesman from a nearby cemetery. I listened to him, amused, what a thing to have to pitch over the phone.

After he rambled on for awhile, my memory was jogged and I nearly shouted, “I already own a plot in your cemetery!” So I told him the whole story about my father’s cemetery-buying spree, and how I came to inherit an unoccupied berth in his real estate.

He said, by law, I can only be buried with a relative. But she was my stepmother, not good enough?

Then I mentioned that my husband and I plan to be cremated. And those small boxes or urns can easily fit into this large casket-size space that I already own. That didn’t please him either.

Finally I told him that his efforts are fruitless. If my husband dies first, he has instructed me to throw his ashes behind the shed in our yard. Silence. He hung up. He didn’t wait to hear the plan for my ashes.

A couple of weeks later some friends told us about the frequent and annoying telemarketing calls they are getting from this same burial-plot selling cemetery.

I never got another call from a cemetery telemarketer again. They must have put me on the Do-Not-Call-Because-They’re-Crazy list. If it works, it works.

By the way, anyone need a slab in a Michigan mausoleum? It’s right next to a nice enough (in life) dead lady. I can let it go cheap. Act fast and I can offer you a Halloween discount.