Death, Remembered

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strawman
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Death, Remembered

Post by strawman » Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:09 pm

Since ever I knew, and the universe began,
we had been together.
Explorers, marvellers of the thumping mysteries,
seekers of the familiar distant voice.

We came to know the encroaching borders,
shrinking around us, gradually squeezing,
and the knowledge dawned
that one of us would have to go.

We both knew, and yet - the nobility!
You chose to sacrifice your life for me!
(or was it I who nudged you toward death’s door?)
Still, I weep that your life has been taken.

Having now the room to myself.

But woe!
I too am swallowed
by this sucking maw of death.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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Varda
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Re: Death, Remembered

Post by Varda » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:40 pm

Gosh, that's sad. The death of a twin in utero? Sort of has a "Cain and Abel" flavor to it.
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ROU Killing Time
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Re: Death, Remembered

Post by ROU Killing Time » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:43 pm

Or the 2nd born twin, Varda.
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Re: Death, Remembered

Post by strawman » Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:35 pm

I actually wrote this with Cain and Abel in mind. From their perspective, the womb is the universe, and birth is death.

I wished I had space to add to the terror of the second twin being squeezed into the birth canal, as he hears the spine-chilling scream of his brother.

Death is outside of our experience, just as life is beyond the experience of the fetus. So it's pretty easy to imagine that a baby's first cry is one of sheer WTF terror and surprise.

I wouldn't be surprised if it's also our first action after we die.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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ROU Killing Time
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Re: Death, Remembered

Post by ROU Killing Time » Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:43 pm

Well, the death card symbolizes rebirth, do they say.

A nice game of cribbage, anyone?
"Never fuck with The Culture"
Sublime In Peace Iain M. Banks.

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Varda
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Re: Death, Remembered

Post by Varda » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:44 pm

Okay, the birth interpretation's much happier. Gloomy cloud lifted! Thanks, ROU.

Strawman, I think your story gets at the inherent tragedy of childhood: stuff happens and developmentally there's no way you can understand why. On top of everything else, babies have the whole problem of object impermanence to deal with. Out of sight, out of existence. I think a game of peek-a-boo must be the most high-stakes game ever when you're under a year old. Like Russian Roulette, except all the adults think it's cute for some reason. :P
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Re: Death, Remembered

Post by ROU Killing Time » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:55 pm

Glad to be of service, Varda.
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Sublime In Peace Iain M. Banks.

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Re: Death, Remembered

Post by strawman » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:53 pm

Varda wrote: babies have the whole problem of object impermanence to deal with. Out of sight, out of existence. I think a game of peek-a-boo must be the most high-stakes game ever when you're under a year old. Like Russian Roulette, except all the adults think it's cute for some reason. :P
Makes for prime drabble twists, though! :wink:

They stretch me out and pin me down naked on the floor, and attach their rough neuro-muscular stimulators to the soles of my feet, my armpits and stomach. Laughing maniacally, they apply full power, oblivious to my tortured screams and tears. O God, why did you send me into this band of sadistic terrorists? They pass me from one to another, that each may have a turn at their cruel sport, laughing at my suffering, careful not to leave a mark.

The worst part is, as hard as I try, I can't get this stupid silly expression off my face.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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Varda
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Re: Death, Remembered

Post by Varda » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:07 pm

:lol: :lol: Bonus points for description of hands. I'd love to see that inserted back into a few song, such as the Beatles classic, "I Wanna Hold Your Neuro-Muscular Stimulator".
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Re: Death, Remembered

Post by ROU Killing Time » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:15 pm

Varda wrote::lol: :lol: Bonus points for description of hands. I'd love to see that inserted back into a few song, such as the Beatles classic, "I Wanna Hold Your Neuro-Muscular Stimulator".
I feel like the protagonist of Strawman's follow-up Drabble.
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Re: Death, Remembered

Post by MonsieurMoustache » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:30 pm

I wish we could remember being born. Sometimes it's hard to think about yourself 'ending' when you can't even really remember 'beginning'. I loved the spin on this - especially the idea that if they are Cain and Abel, Cain will eventually 'nudge' Abel into death at somepoint after this birth. 'Sacrifice' puts me in the mind of their initial dispute too - that apparently God likes lambs, and not so much onions and potatoes. God likes his protein, I suppose.

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Re: Death, Remembered

Post by strawman » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:07 pm

MonsieurMoustache wrote: Cain will eventually 'nudge' Abel into death at somepoint after this birth. 'Sacrifice' puts me in the mind of their initial dispute too - that apparently God likes lambs, and not so much onions and potatoes. God likes his protein, I suppose.
I've thought along these lines too, trying to understand God's reasoning. (It fits very well with the whole Paleo movement).

It makes for an interesting psychological exercise, that Cain clears the field, plans the season, plants, tends, waters, weeds and sweats to grow something, while Abel just goes out and picks up an animal, and spends the rest of his summer lying around doing nothing in particular; and then Abel's offering is the one God is pleased with. Speaking as an older of two brothers, I recognize the elements of a fratricidal resentment when I see them.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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MonsieurMoustache
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Re: Death, Remembered

Post by MonsieurMoustache » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:40 pm

strawman wrote:
MonsieurMoustache wrote: Cain will eventually 'nudge' Abel into death at somepoint after this birth. 'Sacrifice' puts me in the mind of their initial dispute too - that apparently God likes lambs, and not so much onions and potatoes. God likes his protein, I suppose.
I've thought along these lines too, trying to understand God's reasoning. (It fits very well with the whole Paleo movement).

It makes for an interesting psychological exercise, that Cain clears the field, plans the season, plants, tends, waters, weeds and sweats to grow something, while Abel just goes out and picks up an animal, and spends the rest of his summer lying around doing nothing in particular; and then Abel's offering is the one God is pleased with. Speaking as an older of two brothers, I recognize the elements of a fratricidal resentment when I see them.

I always felt bad for Cain when I read that story. It's one of the great dramatic brother-vs-brother stories. I never understood why a potatoe, which needed suffering to grow and felt none, was considered lesser gift than the death of another creation that could think and move. It always seemed strange that un-creating a being was pleasing to the Creator. By that reasoning, Abel was probably a great sacrifice! Better than any old lamb. As an older sibling, I try to make sure my brother's contributions are honoured too. Wouldn't want to wake up one day with a sharpened carrot sticking out of something vital.

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Re: Death, Remembered

Post by strawman » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:31 pm

How do you think Norm got fixated on rutabagas?

I think the Cain/Abel story is the genesis of the belief that there is no forgiveness of sin without a blood offering. How Cain was supposed to know that is not addressed. But it comports with the general rule:

Life is the toughest teacher: first you take the test, then you get the lesson.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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Thomas Daulton
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Re: Death, Remembered

Post by Thomas Daulton » Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:36 pm

I was perusing Strawman's old posts when I saw an earlier quote from him on some other topic:

"The Universe is God's evil twin".

I liked the conceit, and then I plugged the comment back into this poem here...

Someday when the Universe collapses or gets sucked into a mega black hole... God will be sitting back watching it, thinking he's safe... when God will get sucked in, crushed and reborn too??

Mind. Blown.
"All that is gold does not glitter; not all those that wander are lost." --J.R.R. TOLKIEN

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Re: Death, Remembered

Post by Flintknapper » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:07 pm

Haha. It is nice to see this come back to the forefront. I looked down at the date. I was posted when I was in Missouri.

A poem! With beautiful prose to boot. Loved it. I get the Cain and Abel reference, but I think you can read this a lot of different ways. It could be two cultures, two perspectives... etc. It is really good spec fic.

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