Friday, September 30, 2005

Extinguish.

Since my brain has been going through some kind of weird emotion-chemical binge since I came home from my trip, it's been hard to write here. When I was there, I felt on the cusp of Creation, with a capital Creation. As though what was inside me had Worth. With a capital Worth. I was in a physical place that fit like fascia. Fascia: a sheet of connective tissue covering or binding together body structures. Sealike prairie grass like fascia between my fleshlayers. Opensky cloudveins. Home.

And now, I don't know what's happened. I've been manic. I've been depressed. I've been maniacally depressed and on the edge of my seat and exhausted with red wiry eyes. With a few moments of calm bluesky tranquility. With a few moments of streetwalking with music. With a few moments of drinking. With a few moments of terror. With the knowledge of how big it is. And how small I am.

I open the window, and the words don't come. Or they come and they feel Wrong and Hollow and Trite and Individual, and I erase them because erasing them feels Right and Full and Meaningful and Global.

I think, it is pretty ridiculous how it never gets easier. I think, always, it will get easier to deal with. It doesn't. It's just old things wearing new clothes, fooling me again with newfreshness. And ambiguity. So I think, I have never done this. I have never felt this. This is a New Situation.

But it's not. It's the same parts of me.

If it keeps on raining, the levee's gonna break.

It's a big if.

-------------------------------------

So, now that I've filled your eyes and mind with todo el bien, todo el mal, I have a question. A question that is one of the questions I think about in that space between consciousnesses. I know my answer to my question, but I don't know yours.

What do you want done with your body when you die?

23 Comments:

At September 30, 2005 3:48 PM, Anonymous e said...

cremation...no question.

 
At September 30, 2005 3:51 PM, Blogger suleyman said...

I know that restlessness. I felt that when I came home from the cross-country for the longest time. There's just this overpowering sense that I want to get away. I know it's other things for you, but I can understand that feeling of agitation. I don't come back from trips feeling refreshed. I come back feeling more and more like I don't belong. It's as if I've left something back there.

I already have my own burial plot.
People think I'm morbid for having one at my age, but I do. I want to be buried standing up and facing South. In Southern soil. In the red North Carolina clay.

Do not disturb my remains, or I shall haunt you :)

 
At September 30, 2005 4:27 PM, Blogger cmhl said...

I hope you are feeeling better. it is always hard for me to try to assimilate back into my life, after returning from a vacation. it is just so.... I don't know.. mundane and depressing.. hang in there.

my body? I"m thinking cremation. I would hate to just rot away. to be honest, haven't really thought about this one a whole lot...

 
At September 30, 2005 6:14 PM, Blogger The Great Saphenous said...

I would like to be cremated, and I would like my ashes to be released in the middle of the ocean, miles away from land. I don't want anyone to take any photos or make any sort of account of this. That may sound strange, but think of it this way: people are very interested in things that simply disappear and don't reappear for a very long time. Think the dinosaurs, the Etruscans, the Minoans, Archimedes. I would much rather have my memory be mysterious and embellished than mourned and supressed.

 
At September 30, 2005 6:36 PM, Blogger Mary said...

"..it's just old things wearing new clothes."
I can relate. It's such a high when you find yourself feeling worthy, feeling like everything fits. The beauty of getting away is that you hope to go and find something like that feeling, and chances are good you will. The ugly part is when you come back and realize you can't always bring that good feeling home with you and make it apply to the life you left in the first place.
Time can be a healer for me when I'm like that. Time can also be a bitch, and a darn slow one.
Anyway, I hope you feel better, too.

Now to answer the question...
I spend so much time trying to figure out what to do with my body while I'm alive and now you want me to figure out what should happen with it when I'm dead?! Can't I stop caring then? Please?!
Seriously, I know I want to be cremated. My decision comes from both a religious basis as well as an environmental one. I'm a Christian from a big family and I know the idea of cremation does not rest so well with my elders who believe burial is the 'right way', that our bodies our vessels of honor, etc. I believe differently, that when I'm called to Eternity, God isn't going to care what condition my body is in or even if there's a body of mine left at all - and that I should honor the vessel NOW while I'm here inside a functioning body. I brought nothing into this world and don't feel like I need to take anything out, skin and bones included. And I'm sure the environmental factor is obvious. I have a very reverent feeling about cemeteries and honoring the souls of those who rest there, I just don't want my dead body to be taking up so many square feet of land among them. I think we waste so much of our land in so many ways (not saying burial is a waste, I'm talking about things like cattle-farming and such; things that the vegetarian in me doesn't really know what to do about as one person but WANTS to do something because it outrages me) and there's going to come a time when humans realize it's too late, we've run out of land. I know my family will want me in a final 'place' and I'm ok with that but I don't want to waste all the wood of a casket and all the land with a burial plot. Put my cremains in a simple urn in a simple small niche of the cemetery I've picked and I'm good. Remember me for who I was and not what's left of me, and I'm even better. (That said, I respect the wishes of people who do choose burial; heck, I used to work for a funeral home, making pre-arrangements for burials!)
There was a good year or so of my life (when I was in pre-med) that I thought very seriously about the option of donating my body to science after I died. But then I got married and had children and my views changed. Now, like E said, cremation... no question.

Thanks for stopping by my place yesterday, and for letting me know you're pro-verbosity. Now I don't feel so bad leaving this huge rambly comment. ;)

Happy weekend to you.

 
At September 30, 2005 8:20 PM, Anonymous atpanda said...

I hope you find some mental peace J. I've been missing your usual cheeriness. You hang in there!

I absolutely want to be cremated. I don't want anyone in my life to feel guilty if they forget to go see a grave with my name on it after I die. Also, I truly believe that my body just holds me. When I'm gone, I'll be sad to see that body go, but I'll find a new one.

 
At September 30, 2005 9:33 PM, Blogger Indigo said...

Didn't you ask something sort of like this a while ago? I can't remember the question exactly, perhaps it was what do you think happens when you die?

Anyhow. I'd like to be cremated have my remains sprinkled over this little ravine in Lake Park, which is near, but not on Lake Michigan.

 
At September 30, 2005 10:38 PM, Blogger Heather said...

I don't really care, except I want a pretty headstone so my children will have a place to visit until they have some closure.

 
At October 01, 2005 8:05 AM, Blogger Christian said...

the words haven't deserted you...you have just lost temporary access to them. don't panic. it happens to the best of us.

 
At October 01, 2005 12:44 PM, Blogger sidhe said...

dear jstarr, you express things so well even when you feel like you can't! not to oversimplify anything, but sometimes I get completely unglued and say "what fresh Hell is This?" and it turns out a few days later, I was incubating a 'flu or a cold or something - like the spirit comes loose from it's moorings when the body is not up to par. This, too, shall pass and better times ahead.

And speaking of bodies and passing, well, I've always hoped someone could use any bits of me that haven't been destroyed by junk food consumption and potsmoking; I figure my lights will be shining somewhere else and I won't be there to be embarrassed so what the hell. After that, oh yes the "cleansing breath of fire" for whatever's left over. WHeee!

 
At October 01, 2005 10:42 PM, Anonymous em said...

joe and i are being made into paint somehow- his idea- we are going to be painted into some design on something-
that is the plan-
we live in our own world

 
At October 02, 2005 12:01 AM, Blogger BG said...

When I die... I want my body turn to ashes and then taken to El Salvador. I want somebody to go and throw away my ashes during sunset in the beach. It has to be sunset. Because I love sunsets and I just want it like that. I want people to remember me alive and full of joy, I don't want them to have a place to go and cry, or where they can say "here she rests" I don't want my body to be burried. I want to be free and completely vanish from the material world. I just want to stay in the hearts and minds of those who loved me and I loved.
What about you?
Does it really matter at the end?

 
At October 03, 2005 7:40 AM, Anonymous M said...

Body to science. Been saying that since I was 12. Caskets are rediculous and cremation is icky.

 
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