If you assume that there is no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, then there is a possibility that you can contribute to making a better world. ~Noam Chomsky
This is an interesting quote because, for me, I have assumed for most of my life that there was no hope for me. As long as I wallowed in that assumption, there simply wasn’t.
“Hopeless land” is what I term dreadful. It’s full of constantly shifting gray shapes where the terrain is spiky, rocky, and the ground is not always level. There is never a beginning or an end. This is how I’ve chosen to live within my chronic illness.
I’ve been cocky, arrogant, and scared shitless. I’ve always been clinging to my pain in dark corners like a bad friend, holding it over my head like a black umbrella, or wearing it around my neck like a spiked choker, hoping to intimidate. At the same time, I’ve been hoping somebody would rescue me from it. Hoping God would rescue me. Hoping a man, or medical science would rescue me. Not surprisingly, I was isolated. For a very, very long time.
Finally, something occurred to me. There was no such thing as rescue. I had been gone longer than 72 hours. The old me was dead. There was just a body. My 16-year-old body. Lying on my front lawn, motionless, infected, struggling with a new and lifelong infection.
I would not live unless I found my instinct for freedom, and that instinct led me to believe that there were opportunities out there to change things. And that’s when I discovered the beauty in the ridiculous. Being ridiculous can make people laugh, and feel better. If I could make one other person laugh, especially at my expense, then I have changed things. I’m not Oprah Winfrey, but I can make small changes, like, re-arranging furniture and shit like that.
Something within me said “Your move, chief.”
And this is where my dark, insane sense of humor was born. It has grown, stumbled, fallen, and become quite morbid over the years. As have I. Then I added this ridiculous cheesburger-esque eye art because I thought the casket was getting to be a bit much for some readers. So I put in something ridiculous instead of dreadful. As of 11/6/2016, the casket was put back as the featured image. I can be irreverent if I want to.
Lately, I have become fascinated with death, dying, and western traditions and customs related to how the deceased are cared for. I was watching this fascinating movie the other day. I have totally forgotten the title because I have been, for the last week, in the mystical land where the Kingdom of Brain Fog and the Kingdom of Depression have forged a strong alliance. I forgot how they forged this alliance, and this blog isn’t about politics anyways, so I won’t feel guilty about not going into details. Where was I? Oh yes. The movie.
The movie centered around an unconventional family whose mother passed away. Her parents wanted (and were granted) a typical Christian funeral ceremony and burial. Her husband and children lived an unconventional lifestyle, and because of their lack of money and influence, her last will and testament around her burial wishes were not respected.
She adhered to Buddhist principles and wanted to be cremated. She wanted her family to be there, wanting her passing to be a celebration of her life. So, what did the family do after the burial? They went into the cemetery. All 6 kids, one dad, one shovel. Dug up the casket, hauled it into their van, had their own cremation ceremony where they danced and sang and played their mother’s favorite tunes, and adhered to her last wish in her will.
What was that, you ask? To have her ashes flushed down a toilet. And it was done. With laughter. And “Bye mom!!”
She was, after all, long gone, wasn’t she? And isn’t that ridiculous? I mean, I laughed my ass off when I saw that.
The old me is long gone. Dead. It’s like trying to go back to my old childhood playground and resurrect those old dangerous metal swings and see-saws. They’re gone. The dirt is probably different. I’d have to dig pretty deep to even touch some of the same dirt that was there in 1982. But why would I do it?
There’s still shit to laugh at and stuff to do in the Kingdom of Brain Fog and the Kingdom of Depression. Who knows. They might have a war soon and I’ll be knighted Sir Vonn the Pressed. In fact, I’m certain of it.