because I'm not exactly sure where this subject will lead me. It starts like this: recently I had a thought.
This thought entered into my head for two reasons.
In the Musee d'Orsay this week, which I visited twice, I wondered the large halls and exhibit rooms. In total awe. Of course, there are the famous names...Monet, Manet, Van Gogh. (the last of these, left me speechless, in person his paintings hit you in the face with vividness and dimensional gobs of color). Each piece was a marvel, yet I was especially drawn to the depiction of death in the art. Don't know why.
Very negative imagery. Skeletal figures. dark shades. eyes clouded with fear. death if symbolized by a figure was ugly. it had talons. its victims were martyrs.
When I looked at the date of each piece...I noticed that each was from the last century or earlier. None later than 1920's.
Reason #1: Seeing death portrayed in art from the last century
Then I started to think about a line of poetry from Ryler Dustin, from the book Glenn let me read this summer.
"Look out for Ryler.
I overheard that kid talking to himself
for the first time in eight years
about how suicide is starting to sound
like another word for clean"
Reason #2: I started to think about how death is depicted in our generation
...mostly in music.
The New Frontiers...
"Baby scream when they are bored,
So I'm not afraid of passing on"
-from Passing On
This song is not about taking your own life...I think it might be more along the lines of being willing to let go of life when the time comes...But the point is...death isn't so shrouded in darkness as it once was. Is this a blessing? a hope for us? or can it also be a curse?
either way... death is thought about differently in our generation. J.M. Barrie's Hook took the stage in 1904. The start of a new century. An age of technology. and Captain Hook says, "Death is the only great adventure I have left..."
I began to wonder.
The thought: Has all the mystery of the world been lost in our technological age?
Is there anything left to explore in life? Unknown lands. Unexplainable feelings? Unsearchable questions? Or do we explain everything to such an extent... that we are left curious about the only truly unknown that all of us will experience: death.
maybe some would admonish me...
Admonishment #1: there is plenty of mystery in the world. a ton of things unknown. but my argument would be... that to the average person. It is easy to forget that. when you live in a concrete jungle. in education systems that explain everything with the scientific method. with psychology that even explains your feelings. you have to escape from this to find mystery. not all people have that much gumption...
Admonishment #2: death isn't such an unknown after all. As Christians, we go to heaven to be with God. That isn't unknown, is it! but do we have even a fathom of what that will be like! only imaginings.
I was thinking about this all week and today something happened. I am staying at my mom's house. One of the neighbor's daughter committed suicide.
She chose death.
I guess it just looked too good. has it always been this way... or is our generation making it look better than before. It is so horrible. this choice has cast a net of darkness that hurts people far beyond even those she knew.