Life. Death. Love.

“Nothing can happen more beautiful than death.” – Walt Whitman

It is always hard for me to wrap my mind around why people are so afraid of getting old and afraid of death. After all, it’s going to happen to all of us. I can appreciate the wanting to live a good long life- free of disease. But why try to slow down the aging processimages? Why not accept the inevitable— and actually use it to create a well-lived life?

We started to die the day we were born.

When people first meet me, their initial thoughts are usually that I am a dark and mysterious girl with a morbid fascination. After all,  I make jewelry with vertebrae (human and animal). I paint animal skulls. I post images of death in all its forms. My home is decorated with all things death-related– skulls, skeletons, bones. My life is dedicated to the dead.

I have been fascinated with death since childhood. Being born on November 1st, it’s hard not to fall in love with images of death! My birthdays were always filled with bits and pieces of Halloween and All Souls Day. My work with dead goes back as far as I can remember-even within the realm of imaginary friends in childhood.

As I grew older, I began to realize that my life was destined to be entwined between the realms of the living and the dead.

Am I obsessed with death? No.

Do I venerate death? Yes.

I have never been afraid of the concept of death. I understand why most people are. It’s frightening to think about the unknown


I find death comforting. We are all going to end up there. Death is also the one thing in life that does not discriminate; Death does not care if you are rich, poor, what race you are, where you are from, who your family is, what religion you practice, who you pray to. Death is a bit of coming home after a long journey. For me, death is like a waiting lover. Open arms and ready to dance. Morbid? Not really.

My relationship with death has made me love life because Death is humbling. 

When I work with bones–I find it an honor. To hold something so sacred that ones supported the weight of a living thing is a blessing. When I work on a piece, whether painting on a skull or entwining vertebrae into jewelry, I think of what animal once owned those bones. What type of energy that animal had. Where it lived, what it did. I reflect on the essence of the being.

When I work on human bones- its an even greater honor. I think of the person, who they may have been, what they may have done. When I hold a human bone in my hand, I think of my ancestors– of all our ancestors– those who have walked this earth thousands of years before now. Its a sacred honor to me to hold those human bones in my hand.

Imagine if someone told you you had three days to live. Would you really live? Would you break the rules? Would you take risks? Would you be a kinder person?

This is why I love death. It made me learn to live my life with no regrets. I always reflect on the choices

I made, chances I took…things I have said– and I regret nothing.  I am getting older, I am learning that time goes by fast. Age is inevitable. But I have every intention of living my life my way.

In honoring and understanding death- I have learned to appreciate life. Death has humbled me beyond words. Working with and having human bones in my life is one of the greatest honors I could ever have. The dead remind me to live. REALLY live.


So yes, maybe in some strange way- I am obsessed with Death. But its an obsession of absolution. I know that someday I will be like those bones….that will be all that is left of me on this earthly realm. I have no fear of that.

 

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The Power Over: Flight of the Hummingbird

With so much going on in the world right now, and of course, governments trying to quell fears and tell lies that “everything is going to be ok” ~ I have learned that we live in a “power over” society. Unfortunately, a power over society makes people afraid to take leaps of faith, be themselves or even be accepted. Its forces people into believing that others will and always will, have power over them. A power over can be anyone or anything: family, governments,  finances, a job, a friends. Anything that makes you feel if you don’t have it (or them) you can not survive.

It took me a good long while before I realized that you can fight a Power Over. I recently had a head injury that put me out of work for 3 weeks. I don’t care much for my job and have been on a job hunt to find something that suits my abilities and creativity more. I have wanted to leave my job for a while, but fear has kept me frozen. The power over finances, and what if’s. During my three weeks home I wasnt allowed to go online, watch tv, use the phone or even read. Which meant I spent a lot of time on reflection.

hummingbird

Being a non-conformist, a person who walks against the grain, a person who does not want a conventional life, I find it difficult to live in a Power Over society. Especially in a country where wealth and job descriptions define who you are. I found myself making excuses, going against what I believe is in my heart and what my mind has been taught truth.

Then one day, when I finally felt up to it, I went for a walk. I have live in the same neighborhood my whole life. Truthfully its been for reason that really should not be all of my responsibility. My partner and I have finally decided to move the end of 2015, but I a part of me is still afraid to surrender.

In all my years living in the same city in the sam neighborhood, during our walk, I saw a little hummingbird. I have never seen a hummingbird in these parts. Let a lone a hummingbird who not only stopped to smell the flowers, but also stopped to give me a look. I got that feeling of calmness. That feeling that The Universe and the animal kingdom was sending me a sign. So naturally I went home to look up what the meaning of a hummingbird was:

  • fearlessness
  • Wisdom
  • resiliency
  • ability to overcome fears (even when you feel small)

At that moment, I realized, The Universe was sending me a message in a tiny bird–that everything was fine. That being able to close my eyes and be me–was OK. The Power Over started to disintegrate. When I got home, a feeling washed over me, one of great trust. I decided that in order to be happy I have to break the power over. I told myself that if I don’t have a new job that makes me happier in a few months, then I would leave my current job and just trust that the Universe will guide my little wings in the right direction. I started telling myself over and over again, “its temporary.” The more I reminded myself of that beautiful colorful tiny hummingbird, the more I realized that even those who feel small can overcome the Power Over.

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Your happiness is what defines you. Not your money, your job, your hair color, whether you are living a traditional life style or not–its you happiness that defines you. A power over is something created by a society afraid to trust. A Power Over society is a fearful society. If we don’t play by the rules, if we make our own, we are bound for failure. Once you break the Power Over ideology, the more you can spread those tiny wings and take flight.