Emeritus

By: kmarulis

Feb 18 2012

Category: Uncategorized

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   Certainly, memory and invention do provide a visual account of what the mind is thinking. The ability to conjure up tidbits of the mundane and to then manipulate them towards new purpose is to be considered a gift from the gods.

Whether it is true, it has been perceived as common knowledge that there are five senses and all act as portals into the inner sanctum of the individual. Nevertheless, it is my purpose here to offer up the human eye as the most appropriate metaphor for what I am experiencing and for which I expect to experience for a very, very long time.

It has been a year now to the day that I succumbed to my own mortality due to the most natural circumstance of disease and I am now as dead as anyone could ever hope to be. It was a cancer that got me and I suppose I contacted this dreaded affliction as a result of some sinful disregard to the rules of healthful living. Was it that last cigarette I smoked? Was it that last drink of bad booze I so happily consumed? Or was it the hard labor that I dutifully performed as my family’s provider and sucked in all the concrete dust and industrial chemicals that my industry could produce?

It doesn’t really matter now how it happened as it is all water under the bridge. I am dead and nothing can change that. It is a permanent condition and as a former human being such as myself, the sooner I get used to the idea is the better off I’ll be. It certainly wouldn’t serve me well to embark upon this journey into eternity in a state of regret. During my short time amongst the stars I’ve come across a few of those who refuse to acclimate to their present circumstance and it is quite unpleasant to look upon their unsettled nature. It is much better to accept these offerings and allow oneself to be swept up into the winds of time. There is a newfound pleasure that is borne of expectation as I find myself coming closer and closer to god’s truth. I suppose I am in a kind of purgatory and contrary to the teachings of the Catholic church, it ain’t so bad.

Being such a recent newcomer to death I’d be inclined to realize that I am merely a novice in this game and my insignificance in the scheme of things does not yet make me privy to the secrets of the stars. I’d suppose that when the truth is finally revealed I will have arrived unto that state of bliss that was described on earth as heavenly enlightenment. If I can offer anything at all to the apprehensive and the hopeful, it is the reassuring knowledge gleaned from my own experience that I can freely feel the push and pull of the power that propels me and sends me traveling at such a speed that normal human comprehension is denied. The best way to describe it is the same overwhelming sensation I’d felt when, as a young man, I’d first surrendered my feelings to the sixteen years old girl who would later become my wife. Similarly, as I fly headlong into eternity, the more freely I am able to submit to it is the stronger the force of it becomes. This sensation, however it is known, was and still is, a thing bestowed, and I am convinced that humanity is better off because of it. Surely, when I am finally able to part the curtain that hides the inexplicable, I will find that love will be sitting in prominence alongside the mysteries of truth, and thus will reveal the true nature of it all.

I’d suppose it is quite possible that there might be at least a few who’d agree that this celestial anniversary would be the appropriate moment to mention that while I was living, I did suffer from a premature preoccupation with death and premonitions of my own mortality.

Since entering chronological middle age, I’d suspected that perhaps my time on earth was growing shorter and my remaining days would be brief. I had my family history to blame for this morbid outlook as my grandfather died at the age of forty five and my father died at fifty. Being the first son of the first son of the first son I kind of worked this frenzied thought within my own mind that due to the increased longevity of human beings, my life would increase by a five year increment and I would die at the approximate age of fifty five.

Admittedly, I was pleasantly surprised when expectation had then given way to curiosity and I exceeded my original prognostication of the moment of my demise and did manage to reach a ripe old age of sixty two before cancer of the throat overtook me.

My father’s death had impacted and influenced my philosophical outlook towards the temporary nature of my own existence. It had bothered me when I thought about his short life of hard labor with little reward The abruptness of his death and how, after a lifetime of toil and sacrifice, all that would remain were dwindling thoughts of this loved one who was now gone. A legacy that existed only in memory just wasn’t enough for me and I felt there had to be more.

Whenever a child is born there is a promise of hope. I think the great civil rights leader Malcolm X mentioned this and I believe it to be true. When a child is born there is a new voice in the world. A new conversation begins that reaches out to touch and affect all that come into contact. This voice, this singular sound, is unique unto the world and when it ends a light goes out. The voice is silenced and the conversation is over.

For myself, as I approached my own middle age and the expectation of my own demise increased, there was a realization that I would be reluctant to have my voice silenced in this way and the thought of it became unacceptable. I felt that time was of an essence and I should renew and redouble my long neglected creative abilities. I then decided, in the spring of 2001, to go to my inner well and to draw sustenance from it once again. I would communicate to my succeeding generations and let them know that although I toiled as did my father and his father before him, I would create a legacy and speak through my art to all those that might care to listen.

I’d come to believe that an artist never really dies. Surely, the tiniest particles of our very soul may dissipate throughout the universe, but the voice that our own art gave us and the conversation that began with it will live on. It is my hope, and it may come to be that a hundred years from now some yet unnamed thinking person will look up to a wall at the art that hangs there and will be able to hear a forgotten voice. It would be at that moment that a conversation that so long before had been lost will begin anew.

But for now, enough of this. I’ve always had a tendency to ramble on when I’ve had too much time on my hands and I’d prefer instead to return to the eye as a metaphor and explain to you the chronological circumstance of a life lived on this, the first anniversary of my uneventful, though painful, death.

—————

 

THE EYE And THE WOMB

We’ve all heard it said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Certainly, an old adage such as this is difficult to deny. After all, hadn’t I, when I was living, taken at least a moment to peer intently into the eyes of another to find truth in their meaning? Didn’t I look towards that person ’eye to eye’ in order to pay respectful recognition to the living humanity of that who stood before me? Was it not through this look that I had hoped to get the full measure of the person and to learn the intent of the individual? Wasn’t it the eye that finally spoke when mere words had failed to reveal?

And what about the human being who stands behind that corneal membrane and whose inner perceptions will step forward to the very edge of this thin veil? Doesn’t he cultivate anonymity in order to look out in the hope of adding punctuation to any thought of reassurance and understanding?

It is remarkable to consider that now that I am dead and the smoke from my pyre has long ago disappeared, my ego and sense of self remains. I have no body and no discernible form, and yet, I am here.

Is it truly thus?

Is identity the gift that is given when a child is born?

Is the babe’s first look pointed inward and is the expression of wonder the result of a discovery of self?

Is the child who is born without sight given the same view as the child who is born with the ability to see?

It would seem that with my death, it is to that original vista that I’ve returned.

Ensconced as I was within my mother’s womb, I was not a separate thing . All that she was, I was. I shared her nourishment along with her mood. I was of her and she was of me. The bond was set and our souls were entwined.

So too was the life I most recently departed. It is not without good reason that the planet and the nature that resides upon it are described maternally and are affixed with the title of Mother. Similarly, as it was when I was born, being compelled to look out upon a new world, so too am I now reborn and must learn to look upon the universe and consider the Earth as my departed womb.

The stage has its settings. The curtain parts and a hollow voice echoes and bounces from endless walls of constraint.

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