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We would ask now of Death

Fransisco De Goya 'The Straw Manikin'

Death is a testament to the inevitable and the frailty of life. In silence death reaps and grows until everything is consumed by darkness. Its silent footsteps screech through the dying air like the dive of an eagle catching its prey. When I close my eyes, I see it in slow motion. Almost as if the flight is too slow. In silence death comes, in silence it takes away and it teaches. Tonight I hear the silence I have heard too many times before death. The air around me is restless in agony. A soul will depart and nature is the first to mourn its departure. The spirit of the Earth, the Earth from which we were raised is the Earth to which we will go. We will turn to dust in its depths and it will house our corpses until it is time to rise again. The dirt will shackle us until then like life shackled us until we lived. Man will always be a slave, first to life, and then to death. Birth is the first sign of death, yet how can we expect death? It will take us by surprise, always. They cling to foolish hopes, they cling to foolish prayers, uttered in the anguish of unbearable pain, in the absence of sense and wits. Which God will accept our prayers then when we never remembered Him in our lifetime? They would not believe in His Power until He took from them what they cherished most- life. Death will remind you that there is a God. Death will tell you that there is balance. Death will consume but it is softer, less cruel than birth. Death is understanding, death is acceptance, and death is absolute.

Dialogue. I

Time is a surgeon, old and wheezing. He sews you up and fills you in. Your cuts and craters are cleaned and mended. The clinging words pulled out of you, your nostalgia amended. The losses and stories you held dearer than gold? They’re tweaked out of you like a bit of mould.

Your image belongs in a storybook, a play. A Goya painting perhaps, a scene from Wilde. You cannot describe Time like a child. A graph would do, solemn and straight. Precision is Time’s only trait. Time is cold, agreed, but give it not a guise. Dressing it up in robes is not too wise. It deserves a representation true to its form. A graph, a clock, to which we all conform.

Why replace the costume with a sober chart? Does not role-playing appeal more to the heart? There was a beauty to it when the pagan gods were assigned, the power to be cruel, the power to be kind. The planets were attuned with their tantrums and whims, not with a science sung in numeric hymns. Time fixed me up as good as new. I see him more as a surgeon than a numbers few.

Then it is not Time but a poem that you see. Time transcends every image, every simile. Time is colourless, don’t colour it in. Time is a spectre, don’t give it skin. Time has meaning, but not a part to play. It points and marks but has no words to say.

Sharp surgical tools arranged on a tray…?

No. Just mechanical fingers pointing away.