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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Beginning to End

     A living being has a survival instinct knit into their DNA. That's why it is impossible to hold your breath until death occurs. I know this because I tried it on several occasions and couldn't stop breathing long enough to even turn a modest shade of blue. When a life force is able to circumvent this adversity to extinction by committing suicide, other members of the pod become frightened, grasping for answers.

     "Were they depressed?"

     "Could I have stopped them?"

     "Why would someone who had so much kill themselves?"

     Why indeed.

Death, especially the kind ordered in an express line goes against the screaming banshee will to LIVE. Dying should be avoided at all cost and yet...
     People drive and text or drunk and distracted while knowing this may kill them and others. Some humans eat to excess, smoke with cancer, play football, jay walk in traffic, dodge train crossings, shoot up dangerous drugs, stroll questionable alleys at night, speed on the highway, have sex with strangers, motorcycle without a helmet, pollute the planet, drop bombs into neighboring countries, play games with nukes, poison the only water for miles, utterly encouraging death or at the very least, poking it in the nose. 
    I don't have an appreciation for non-conscious choices. For myself, I avoid them with a fervent passion because I lived the life of the three monkeys, hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil, for most of the first four decades of my life. Those damn monkeys almost became the death of ME. In the natural world I see evidence of choosing, not half-assing into death. For example squirrels are born in a particular neighborhood. They grow up with cars,roads and humans. The bushy rodents are very agile while tree hopping, utility line balancing and dancing in and out of each other. I find it particularly preposterous that so many squirrels are trampled by tire treads. Some of them stand stock still in the middle of the road as a car approaches. Repeat the story and input raccoon, deer, possum, chipmunks and turtles. 

     Are they looking for a quick way out?

There are birds that fly in front of airplanes, automobiles or into industrial fans, fish that get hooked over and over, herds of zebra that weirdly leap from a cliff and the intentional beaching by whale pods. In some cultures, there is a belief that animals decide to offer themselves to a hunter. They are not dragged to death, instead they choose. I read about a four legged lover who also claimed to be clairvoyant. She visited a slaughterhouse for cows expecting to be overwhelmed by a collective bovine fear. Instead the woman was met with acceptance. The animals transferred to her the experience of honoring their purpose and the natural end to this life. 

     What if everything is about the conscious state of choosing?

     My father-in-law died from the effects of COPD. For the several years left after his diagnosis, he chose not to actively participate in making his lungs stronger. I don't know if he did this with awareness, but the end result was the family surrounded him while he struggled with his last breaths. This vigil went on for hours. He didn't die until everyone left the room.

     Conscious choice?

     From my perspective, no one human on God's green Earth has a clue what goes on behind someone else's eyeballs. There is no stopping a person hell bent on destruction or death. Living is a very private choice. Which is the whole point. Each life plops onto the planet accompanied by free will. What they do or don't do with the opportunity is up to the individual. No father, mother, sister, daughter, brother, son, friend, doctor, famous comedian's or storyteller's fan, owns the life or death decree of a loved one or entertainer. There is only ownership of self. Other's choices are in their own backyard, leaving the end result only to them.

      Choice is singularly individual.

     A day begins, waddling on until the moon rises, while an awake human ponders each second of breaths, alert to rhythms and subtleties. The dance is complicated, yet not. A collection of simplicity intertwined in splendor, shifting from beginning to end.


#missingRobinWilliams #MissingAnthonyBourdain

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