Death and Life in a Square

Death and Life in a Square, acrylic on canvas 160 x 160

I had this article coming for a long time already. Some thoughts are like the taste of spoilt milk in your morning coffee. You just can’t get rid of them though they do nothing to improve your day, to say the least. But now that I write it, I am not sure I will ever publish it. We’ll see.

So, are you ready for me to have your coffee rotten? Have you ever thought about suicide? I mean in some cultures suicide is a most honorable thing. To make that clear, I am not talking about suicide bombings, martyrs, promised virgins etc. as this is murder and clearly horrible, leaving nothing but ruins. But i.e. the Norse believed that Walhalla can be entered in only three ways: death in battle, death during childbirth and suicide.

Saying that makes it clear that I thought about suicide; even as an option. I did a lot of times, starting in school. I was the ideal prey for any bully, inside out a total misfit, helplessly caught in the spin cycle of human interactions and emotions that others seemed to navigate easily while I understood math, physics, chemistry and even the syntax of sonnets.

I was too curious to leave. Much like my cat – hind legs and tail shivering, but the nose stretching out further and further until the fur threats to rip – I approached the world. It is beautiful. It is cruel. Like a giant knitting pattern everything is interwoven. And then there is me.

They say it all gets better. Well, I am still a loose thread, turning up here and there. It’s hard. I celebrate and struggle. That’s what life is like when art has caught you, but you are not out there to shine. And on the bad days, those that start with spoilt milk in crappy coffee, the thought is in the back of my head: It wouldn’t make a difference, if I died right now. Hardly anyone would notice my death, as hardly anyone does notice what I do in my life.

This might be true, if everything weren’t interwoven. We all came into this world in the same way. We all share the same genes. This makes it hard to take down one of our own, as much as this one death might be justified and necessary to safe the whole. And though I don’t believe in rebirth or resurrection or afterlife, I came to the conclusion that genes are not all we share.

Nature isn’t like humans, it doesn’t waste a thing. Why would it waste the most unique of all things, the human mind? The idea is much like the idea of Carl Jung’s collective unconscious. Everything we experience, everything we learn, every inch we grow above what we were, when we started, goes down in this pool to be shared by the generations to come.

Why spoil the pool with doubts and fears and gloomy thoughts before my time, when there is still potential to learn? Better is relative. But that’s the reason to struggle even unnoticed. Everyone counts.

The sun is high.
The light is bright.
The summer’s days were plenty.
And suddenly in all of this a rose drops its petal.

At beauty’s peak and wisdom’s height
it fades in bloody teardrops.
In summer’s joys the winter urges,
we are but this play’s props.

Yet, like a tree our roots are deep.
They drink the tears of flowers.
And from them grows the winter’s warmth and summer’s shade,
spring’s green and the autumn’s colorful showers.

Death and Life in a Square, acrylic on canvas 160 x 160 - Detail of ruin

Death and Life in a Square, acrylic on canvas 160 x 160 - Detail of bodies

Death and Life in a Square, acrylic on canvas 160 x 160 - Detail of Leaves

2 thoughts on “Death and Life in a Square

  1. I read this the other day and I kept coming back to it… I am not sure what to say other than I have so many desires to speak about it all, but no words come. I am moved- deeply so.

    And everyone does count. Everyone. Always.

    Thank you for your generosity, your art gives and gives and I thank you deeply.

  2. Thank you for sending me this link. I often find myself facing these same thoughts, but again, I think more of the reasons to carry on than to give in and give up. In my world, my heart, my family of friends, you matter.

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