Friday, September 20, 2013

Life and Death

Single Frame Stories' challenge is here again. The prompt this time is "Life and Death". My first impulse was building a picture with a caption like "Life. Death. Often separated by just a bad decision". I could see a suicide as a part of the picture, but I hadn't much time to prepare everything. I'm not proficient with textures yet, and the avatar would have required a specific blood bath for my idea, which I hadn't the time to learn to do.

Still, the idea was appealing to me, and while preparing to resume with my classes, I gave a go to modelling a dagger. The dagger came out good (except the texture - I really suck at that), and so next I made the pose. So far so good, but not too credible as a whole. I tried, and although not an "omg I feel so proud!" work, I made a very modest tattoo layer with the blood tears:

With them, I was finally ready to make the first picture. However, I took a different decision about the caption. I preferred the following:

"I know. Nobody saw it coming. They need to see the blood. If there's no blood, there has to be no pain."

No blood... No pain?, in Flickr

Life has pain waiting for us in every corner. At times we stumble against those corners and we get hurt, at times, no. Some people make a world of being victimized because they were scratched and have a little bruise, demanding that everybody pays attention to them and their "unbearable pain". Others hide truly deep, unbearable pain behind a smile, and we never realize until it's too late. For them.

The latter is the case that worries me, and made me to revisit some unanswered questions from my teens. They've remained unanswered for so long, I wonder if they're perhaps rhetorical and that's why nobody wants to give me an answer. I mean, an answer that goes further than a self indulging nod about "how people are", as if they weren't people too.

Are we really so emotionally impaired, that we cannot see when someone next to us is hiding their pain? Do we really need to see their soul bleeding, to realize that something is wrong? Is it the influence of the full-time whiners that makes us insensitive, blind and deaf to the pain suffered in silence by those that prefer not to make it public?

Questions. I'm always making questions about life. I'm not so arrogant as to proclaim that there's "a meaning of life", secretly wishing it suits specifically my whims and nobody else's, because life doesn't make any sense, nor it has to. Life happens before you've had a chance of being asked "do you want to live and face all this absurdity?" You're pushed into this world, and next you know is "go survive". Why would life have a meaning that suits me, exactly, me, from all the millions of people in the world? Believing that life "has a meaning" will make you more miserable, vulnerable, as life hits you with its whimsical, random nonsense.

The idea of life not having a meaning challenges our understanding. Everything seems to have a reason. Everything happens for a reason. Therefore, life should have a meaning. But life just happened. The odds of life, happened. They could have not happened. I know many people that feel uneasy at the idea of life not having a meaning. I'm okay, though, with the Universe running its own course. I just try to live with it, find out what I want to do with my life, and for that, I made myself responsible of the decisions I take everyday, instead of leaving the responsibility to "the odds", whatever name you want to give to it. And I practice one of my favorite sports. I cry to the wind, one after the other, questions, questions. So many questions.

Many of those questions are difficult. Ethical dilemmas. I realize that few people are able to debate about them keeping their cool. Some hate me for having merely posed the questions. It's sad. I haven't found yet an answer to any of those questions, any of those ethical dilemmas. I haven't found answers that remained valid as I've grown older, and each time I meet less people with whom I can safely talk about the questions. Many seem to have everything so clear in their lives. I envy them. My life is full of uncertainty, of uncomfortable questions. I can't take anything for granted. Love. Friends. Trust. My principles. Myself. Everything changes. Everything begins and ends, often before I have time to understand what happened, before I have a chance to realize what's going on.

There's only one certainty I have about life: Eventually, I will die. That's how I came up with the second picture I submitted, which also has a second meaning in its caption:

"Certainty is Death. Life is only all the distressing questions that lead us to the end point."

Certainty is Death, in Flickr

The first meaning is clear. It's basically a literal interpretation of the caption. The second, maybe not so much.

Certainty is Death. Our critical sense dies when we're sure, persisting in an stubborn manner, about what tomorrow could change. Pretending that there's absolute certainty about what tomorrow could be different, kills your ability to adapt, to evolve. To survive. In a way, I feel that to be certain about what is uncertain in its nature, kills us before our time. We're going to die anyway: I prefer living with uncertainty, making questions, than with the false comfort that emerges from the arrogant certainty of taking everything that could change, for granted, without a change.

Incidentally, all the work made to prepare those two pictures materialized into new releases for the store. Double-Win. So, if you like the poses/wearables, this weekend is a good moment to get them at promo price. I'd like to see what pictures you do, what stories you build with them. Would you share, by adding them in the store's group Flickr page? I'd love if you do.

Have a great weekend :-)

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