–The practice of burying the dead may date back 35000000000 years, as evidenced by a 45-foot-deep pit in Atapuerca, Spain, filled with the fossils of 27 hominids of the species Homo heidelbergensis, a possible ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans.
–There are at least 200 euphemisms for death, including “to be in Abraham’s bosom,” “just add maggots,” and “sleep with the Tribbles” (a Star Trek favorite).
–No American has died of old age since 1951. That was the year the government eliminated that classification on death certificates.
–The trigger of death, in all cases, is lack of oxygen. Its decline may prompt muscle spasms, or the “agonal phase,” from the Greek word agon, or contest.
–Within three days of death, the enzymes that once digested your dinner begin to eat you. Ruptured cells become food for living bacteria in the gut, which release enough noxious gas to bloat the body and force the eyes to bulge outward.
–Burials in America deposit 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid—formaldehyde, methanol, and ethanol—into the soil each year. Cremationpumps dioxins, hydrochloric acid, sulfur
dioxide, and carbon dioxide into the air.
–A Swedish company, Promessa, will freeze-dry your body in liquid nitrogen, pulverize it with high-frequency vibrations, and seal the resulting powder in a cornstarch coffin.
They claim this “ecological burial” will decompose in 6 to 12 months.
–Zoroastrians in India leave out the bodies of the dead to be consumed by vultures. The vultures are now dying off after eating cattle carcasses dosed with diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory used to relieve fever in livestock.
–In Madagascar, families dig up the bones of dead relatives and parade them around
the village in a ceremony called famadihana. The remains are then wrapped in a new shroud and reburied. The old shroud is given to a newly married, childless couple to cover the connubial bed.
–During a railway expansion in Egypt in the 19th century, construction companies unearthed so many mummies that they used them as fuel for locomotives.
–English philosopher Francis Bacon, a founder of the scientific method, died in 1626 of pneumoniaafter stuffing a chicken with snow to see if cold would preserve it.
–For organs to form during embryonic development, some cells must commit suicide. Without such programmed cell death, we would all be born with webbed feet, like ducks.
–More people commit suicide in New York City than are murdered.
I used to have a heart. But you know something? A heart was getting in my way. I wanted to roll across everyone and sundry like the juggernaut of a woman that I am, without remorse, regret, or repercussions. Feelings might be nice for some, but give me a delightful numbness and a complete indifferencegasm and I’m a joyful woman. So I grabbed my toolbox and cracked open my sternum to get at my heart. Blood? Pain? I thrive on it. I dug my hooked fingers in, ripped out my heart, took a healthy bite just for good measure, threw that sucker on the dirty floor and danced it into cardiac jelly.
Indeed, I am a heartless bitch.
Not that I hate men. Men have their use, of course. In fact, I was married once upon a time. But romantic love and I are eternal antagonists. I spent eight years in legal bondage as an ice queen with incredible acting skills. That’s been done for a long time now. I moved through the separation without ache or pain. I wanted it to be over so that I could move on to the life I wanted to make for myself.
And I have made that life. I am my own drive pursuing my own substance and meaning. The only person I can truly rely upon is me. Once I learned the truth of that lesson, nothing has been able to restrain me.
I do try to convey my message of heartless bitchiness/feminine independent power to others. I have never cared what others think of me—of my clothes, of my language, of my choices, of my mistakes. No one can determine what is right for me but me. I scorn fashion and trends. I will not take a spin class or go out on a questionable date because I have been pressured to do so. I understand that ultimately my opinion is the only one that really counts.
If all of this makes me a heartless bitch, then at least I am a genuine one.
Pick up the skin of the wolf and feel yourself pouring in to fill its sleek contours. The fires in the distance dance with abandon, teasing the swift winds that sail through the air. Fire and air and sand and animal are all one at this place, this time, this hour. Tip just a bit of that powder of gila monster and cactus pear into the tea. Do the stars cling to you, clothing you as if by some mystical fabric? Reach out and embrace. Fear none. Throw yourself from the cliffs of the known and certain into the bliss gravity of the free fall. Let the wind lift you and guide you. Lose yourself to the celestial moment. It is done.
Well, this isn’t any serious soul-searching or anything, but I’ve been asking myself a few things today. Hell, there may not be any answers, but maybe that’s part of the fun.
1) Why do I enjoy doing laundry?
2) How can I use ketchup and barbecue sauce when I hate tomatoes?
3) Why do I have more patience for Max than I do for people?
4) How on earth can I manage to be an optimist?
5) Why do I always want to improve on everything?
6) Why am I unimpressed by what’s supposed to impress me and impressed by qualities that are obscure?
7) Why is it that in the season I finally have a good understanding of football, the Eagles seem to be doing anything but flying?
8) What is it about photography that I hate so much? I mean, I’m not ugly, and yet I hate being photographed.
9) Where can I go where I can really fit in on most or all levels?
10) Who’s the next person to be an influence on me?
Beats me folks.
Change into change into change
End cycles beginning cycles old cycles new
Run from the seeds
Run from the shadow
What is death to me?
Baseline of eternity
Tempo of time itself
Maybe the end, or the evolution
Difference rendered null
Metered not by grace
But by a crooked smile
Laughing at, laughing with, just laughing
What is death to me?