Monday, February 19, 2007

The 13th Card

So as i prepare for my trip, I've been pondering issues of mortality. Not mine, just in general. It's not unusual for me to ponder those kinds of thoughts. Much of what I do in my work is reflective of our fragile existence on this planet. The reason for this melancholy mood, is that my girlfriend lost a family friend yesterday and I feel her sadness from the opposite side of the globe.

One thing I've noticed is that, for me, death has a strange sensation of experiencing the most horrible with the most beautiful simultaneously. It is the saddest thing in the world to loose someone close. My first experience with death was my grandfather, who I was quite close with. The toughest thing was the horror of knowing that I would not see him again. Oddly, the most beautiful thoughts were in my mind at this time. I was in pain, but I was in pain because I had so many wonderful experiences with him. Its that idea that without contrasts one could never appreciate the opposite. Beauty becomes even more beautiful when compared to it's counterpart...in fact without the opposite would beauty even exist. I remember, reading or hearing a concept that the idea of the Devil was not to be a villain, but rather as a point of comparison, so the one could see that which is good. Wish I could remember where I heard that.

Death in many ways can serve the same purpose. I think this is why I have always gravitated towards the Mexican death traditions...they always struck me as the perfect balance of light and dark. Shadow and light combined in a meaningful way, neither element more important than the other.

All these thoughts bring to mind a recent tragedy that in all honesty I haven't really had time to digest. Last month a friend of mine died in a fire. I hadn't seen her in years. She died because she was trying to rescue here animals from the burning house, and she herself was badly burnt in the process. She died the next day. How horrible a death, how beautiful and sacrificing a soul.

Sorry for the melancholic nature of this post, but the loss of Judy's friend made me realize I had my own ghosts that needed tending to.

3 comments:

kristen robinson said...

Michael this post is so heart wrenching at the same time a reminder of how fragile our lives our... a true gift we are all given. May your trip be safe and full of happiness!

XO
Kristen

Amy said...

Michael, how coincidental, if you believe in coincidences: I was just rereading an old post on my blog from Sept. 2005 that linked to your site (click on my name to read it) -- then I read this post of yours that had much the same feeling.

I'm so glad to see that your artwork has continued to sustain you. I purchased one of your pieces a few years ago, and it hangs in a place of honor in our living room. Congratulations on your book -- I will be pre-ordering a signed copy!

Steph said...

I know that feeling too well... I had to get used to it, to live with it, to tame it sometimes, to cage it , to let it out at times and to put it back to its cage deep in my heart before it eats my whole soul... death is part of me so is life...