Thursday, April 12, 2007

Shared by All Pantheons

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where questions outnumber answers by a score of 12 to 1! This is our second anniversary week, so if you happen to be in the neighborhood, drop by for a spell. Decibel the parrot and his faerie friends will entertain you while Anne whips up a casserole.

Today's topic is death, so if you'd rather not think about it, better toddle off to the dry cleaner's and pick up those silks.

One year ago, my feisty Aunty Mim died after a short illness. She was 94. Her last words were, "I'm ready."

On the anniversary of Aunty Mim's death, a classmate of my daughter The Heir got into a high-speed police chase, ditched his dad's Lexus atop Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Bridge, and leaped 150 feet into the 40-degree water of the Delaware River. He was 17. (If you want to, you can read about it here.)

Today Philadelphia posted its 110th homicide victim for 2007. You can read about that here.

There are civil wars and tsunamis, automobile crashes and cancers, unfortunate accidents and carefully orchestrated suicides. Boats sink, planes crash, babies stop breathing in their cribs. The climate changes, volcanoes erupt, asteroids the size of Texas slam into the planet. Some day the sun will Supernova.

Which brings us to today's "Gods Are Bored" guest, Death. If you're tempted to accord Death a warm "TGAB" welcome, examine your priorities and your praise and worship team before you leap to extremes.

Anne: There's only one way to greet you, Death. Cue Ralph Stanley: "Oh, Death, won't you spare me over for another year?"

Death: No promises for anyone, except that they meet me someday.

Anne: Okay, let me get out my engagement book for 2078...

Death: You're in my engagement book already. I set the terms, not you.

Anne (to audience): Don't you just love this guy? (to Death) Emmmm. Mr. Reaper, Sir. You are the great unifier. No religion can ignore you. In some you're considered a god (or a goddess). In others you're an angel. But you're always around. No one even questions your science. You're in the fossil record, abundantly.

Death: Ubiquitous is the word. I'm ubiquitous.

Anne: Nice word. Beats hell out of what I was gonna say, which was "troublesome."

Death: Watch what you say about me. It reveals how much faith you have in what is beyond me.

Anne: So there's definitely something beyond you?

Death: It is not my place to say.

Anne: What I wonder, being a troublesome Druid at heart, is whether or not the experiences beyond you are as level as the experiences of you, or whether our place in the cosmos is dictated by our beliefs while alive.

Death: It is not my place to say.

Anne: Gosh, you're not doing one damned thing to enliven this interview! (Duuuh.) Okay, tell me this. Why do you allow some people, like my dear Aunty Mim, to expire peacefully of old age, while you coax others, like The Heir's friend, to leap off bridges before their lives are barely underway? Okay, and what's the deal with suicide bombers?

Death: You ask too many questions.

Anne: Whoa. Sorry! Sorry! Oh, look out there! Isn't that a lovely dreary day! Maybe you ought to be going now ... all alone, unaccompanied, if you know what I mean ...

Death: I will answer your questions. First, Aunt Mim. I am a fact. She met me in her time. Second, your daughter's friend. I am an accident waiting to happen. He forgot that for a sum total of ten seconds. Third, suicide bombers. They are motivated by their religion, not by me.

Anne: Well, now, that's all cleared up! What a relief! Bon voyage, Death, it's been nice, but I've got some laundry to fold ... you know how it is ...

Death: Why are you so jittery, Anne?

Anne: PMS. Seriously. Seriously. Actually, I think it's a sign of good mental and physical health when one fears the Reaper. It's great to feel needed, to try to do some good, no matter how small the gesture. Also, when one has children, or nieces and nephews, or even little neighbor kids who hang around, one sees how important your role is in the ongoing saga of the cosmos. But you know what really turned me around in my feelings about you?

Death: Do share.

Anne: It was the Tarot. I don't do readings myself, but I've learned a little bit about Tarot. Turns out that pulling your card doesn't mean "nighty night." It means change, alteration, an obliteration of the old way of seeing and doing things in favor of a new outlook. In that respect, I faced you in 2004 when the gods and goddesses of my ancestors called me to follow their path rather than the path I'd always trod. These days I'm more hopeful that some awesome alteration awaits right around the bend from your lair. Perhaps The Heir's classmate is already there, saying, "Whoa! Look at this!"

Death: I really cannot say.

Anne: You can't say? Is that because you don't know, or you won't share?

Death: I don't know.

Anne: And you'll never find out, either, right? Otherwise you'd already know.

Death: Correct.

Anne: Then I'd rather be me than you, thanks just the same.

Death: I must be going.

Anne: By all means! Please don't take my cat Alpha with you. She's on Life #8, but she just started it, I swear.

Death: I'll take no one from this neighborhood today.

Anne: Thanks. We've already suffered a whopper of a hit this week. And will you go easy on the Iraqi people and our troops too?

Death: That's not my call. I suggest you speak to your president about that.

Anne: Speak to George Bush? I'd rather die. OH NO! JK JK JK JK JK!!!!!!!



Rosie said...

He's hot. He's sexy. He's Death.

We've been on speaking terms a time or two.

OT...I got a really adorable photo of Bridey up on my site that you are welcome to snatch for your purposes. She's turned into a very attractive if mischeivious little doe kid.

BBC said...

Death isn't a concept to me. Death is something mortals fuss over.

Anntichrist S. Coulter said...

I think that Vonnegut would've enjoyed your convo with "Death."

He's probably chortling his wrinkly old butt off, somewhere out in the universe, a twinkling strand of light and laughter and love, chemical residue of a great mind and a huge personality. Surfing through the cosmic winds and laughing at our weak and silly human attempts to control it all, failing miserably and kicking each other on the way down.

Hecate said...

Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you for the card with the oak tree!

TauRaven said...

After lurking a while I must admit that you have one of the most deliteful blogs I have read in a while...thank you from me and all the gods who aren't really to bored anymore. I tend to be a bit more cynical I guess.

blessings TR

Anonymous said...

Kayakdave says:
Mr. Death has visited me 3 times and 3 times the scientists (aka doctors) and I have defeated him. I hope the next time that he wins. I don’t think I can handle winning another round. I believe that man is the only creature that knows death awaits. I also believe this knowledge makes mankind insane. A rational person would not pollute the world to the degree we have and hunt species to extinction.

Anne Johnson said...

This man speaks true wisdom. You can read him every day at Appalachian Greens.