Posts Tagged ‘Death’

Thoughts Upon A Friend’s Death

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

“Thoughts Upon A Friend’s Death”

Ceasing to breathe, brain activity ends,
Heart stops beating.
Organs fail and bonds of blood cease
Molecules transfer alliances, new relations form
Does consciousness end?
That voice of self that seems to float
And comment, that ghost, that ephemeral thing

Upon death
Of one close or far, perhaps
Not thought of much recently
Or ever present on the mind
Like an exploding sun comes
Penetrating egos shell
Seeding with essential impressions
Pregnant thoughts, reveries, and
Reflections shaking soul certainty

I knew him for his taciturn wit
The ever present cap and glasses
Pleasure in beer and his dog
Not exactly self-effacing but never
Blowing hard and hot upon friends
Rather razor sharp, pricking balloons

And now
We carry the seeds, the embedded memories
Atoms freed to course the galactic winds
A nova express of self, burst free
Abandoning the moors of constancy
Dull routines no more inhibit or delay
Returning mortal dust to cosmic
Star remnants, recombinant
So much DNA cooled down to more essential form

Atheists and theists perhaps can agree
Matter and energy convert
But do not die
And who can say what lies past the
Event horizon
Where gravity tears every molecule
Apart, and tosses all and sundry
Deep into the
Black hole at the center of
Each galaxy from where
None return to tell

By Gary Crethers
Long Beach

Death, Monkey Business, And Jesus

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Over the years I have developed something of an intimate relationship with my own mortality. I joke around with death. We kid one another, tell secret in jokes, swap recipes, we are buddies.
I imagine daredevil athletes must have some kind of relationship with death. Certainly drug addicts and front line infantry must. Anyone who has had a gun stuck in their heads, or crotch, or a knife at their throat, or been stabbed by an irate girlfriend or overdosed or been through major surgery knows something of what I speak of, and I have experienced much of the above, but then I imagine anyone who has lived long enough has had some brush with death, an intimation of things to come.

I used to participate in various spiritual groups. Often they would breach the subject of death as something humans dread, something that they, as the guardians of our souls, would somehow protect us from the more fearful aspects of the oncoming freight train barreling down upon our fragile bodies trapped here on the tracks. As if some angelic intervention could stop a train, sort of Superman like, smashing it moments before we, the Lois Lane’s of this world were crushed beneath the fiery behemoth. But well, other than parents, who have pulled a drowning child out of water over their heads, or perhaps doctors who have performed life saving surgeries, or a fellow drug addict who had the good nature to keep an od’ed fellow addict breathing, well, who is to stop that train in its inevitable course? I certainly don’t think chanting a few words of some unknown but hoped for deity, ones personal Superman, will work, but then who knows, perhaps there is a deity who simply loves to rush around the aether saving one drowning soul after another, bringing them safely to some cosmic shore and delivering mouth to mouth spiritual resuscitation.

I try to envision this great Jesus, or Krishna, or Buddha figure, compassionate, armed with all sorts of spirit saving devices, picking up literally millions of souls a day. It must be exhausting work. But perhaps they have helpers, little Christ and Bodhisattva beings, Jinn, Pixies, Cherubim, Devas, and so forth who act in concert with the main guy or gal in sucking souls up into the higher realms. Shehaqim, Satya-loka, Sidrat-ul-Muntaha (the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary), and so it goes. More heavens than a barrel of monkeys.
To quote Funk:
“One monkey arouses a great deal of amusement. Two or more then double the interest and amusement. If one were to release a barrel full of monkeys, we must suppose that their antics would become hilariously comical.”
From “2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings & Expressions from White Elephants to a Song Dance” by Charles Earle Funk (Galahad Books, New York, 1993).

I wonder if the lords of the dead souls have trouble with their helpers, monkey business, perhaps this saving of souls.

Monkey business after all can be detrimental to political life.

“Packs of monkeys had broken into the parliament, invaded the prime minister’s office and defense ministry, at times ripping up wiring and tearing through files. Those who resisted them sometimes got bitten – or worse. In 2007, one deputy mayor in Delhi died after falling from his terrace while fighting off a rhesus attack.” From Christian Science Monitor

I am now thinking of those winged monkeys in the Wizard of Oz or perhaps Hanuman finding Sita in Lanka. Oh the conceits we bring to the table. Oh how death will make of all of us a cinder, a cypher blown away with the winds. I made that up. Very medieval of me, I always liked that scene in Monty Python where they are parodying the Black Death. Bring out your dead indeed. More monkey business.
“The most authoritative source for the etymological of words and phrases in the English language is “The Oxford English Dictionary the multi-volume collection commonly called The OED. The earliest recorded WRITTEN use of the phrase was “cage of monkeys,” in 1840. Of course, the expression most likely was used in SPOKEN English, long before it was ever written in print.

Here is the entry from that source:

31. colloq. a wagonload (also barrel, etc.) of monkeys: used as the type of something extremely clever, mischievous, disorderly, jolly, fun, etc.

In barrel of monkeys, perhaps influenced by barrel of fun (laughs, etc.) s.v. BARREL n.

1840 G. DARLEY Thomas à Becket V. viii. 129 De Traci chatters More than a cage of monkeys: we must wait.

1889 Harper’s Bazar 21 Dec. 932/4 My brother..says the American girls are perfectly fascinating… He says they are more fun than a box of monkeys.

1895 W. C. GORE in Inlander Dec. 115 Barrel of monkeys, or bushel of monkeys, to have more fun than, to have an exceedingly jolly time.

1908 W. G. DAVENPORT Butte & Montana 28 This is just more fun than a bag of monkeys.

1930 G. GOODCHILD McLean Investigates xvi. 310 If once we lose touch with Feeny good-bye to the Rajah’s ruby. He is as clever as a cartload of monkeys.

1968 A. POWELL Mil. Philosophers 155 They’re as artful as a cartload of monkeys when it comes to breaking the rules.

1978 G. VIDAL Kalki ii. 24 Christianity was never exactly a barrel of monkeys when it came to the here and now.

1986 Times 28 Apr. 31/6 Plot-wise, it is as mischievous as a wagon-load of monkeys. 1996 People (Electronic ed.) 2 June, Knows loads about loads of sports. Clever as a barrowload of monkeys.”

- Quoted from the website:

I especially like the Gore Vidal quote about Christianity. I once passed by his place in Monaco, it was near the train station.

So to conclude, death, the grinning reaper, that joker of Family Guy fame is as we say always worth a good laugh at our own personal expense.

Next Taxes. Remember Jesus was buddies with the tax man and I assume he would love meter maids. He also had a soft spot for hookers. Who doesn’t?

“which of the two did the will of the father?’ They say to him, ‘The first.’ Jesus saith to them, ‘Verily I say to you, that the tax-gatherers and the harlots do go before you into the reign of God,” from Youngs Literal Translation of Matthew 21:31.

Another Day, Another Suicide Bombing And Shooter Shooting

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

This is from the Guardian UK.

“Iraq suicide bombing kills scores of military recruits

At least 60 Iraqi army recruits and soldiers were killed and dozens more injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside an army base in the centre of Baghdad this morning.

The attack – the deadliest in the Iraqi capital for weeks – comes as the US prepares to end its combat operations in the country, and amid growing fears that al-Qaida is seeking to exploit Iraq’s political turmoil to stage a comeback.

The blast took place around 7.30am just outside the former Iraqi ministry of defense building that now houses the army’s 11th division headquarters. The site receives about 250 new recruits each week as Iraqi forces try to bolster their ranks to fill the security vacuum created by the US military’s withdrawal after seven years of war.

Blown-off hands and legs could be seen among pools of blood at the scene, which Iraqi soldiers closed off. US helicopters hovered overhead as frantic Iraqis arrived to search for relatives.

Major General Qassim al-Moussawi, a military spokesman, told the Associated Press that the blast was caused by a single suicide bomber who detonated his vest among the packed crowd. He blamed al-Qaida for recruiting the bomber, whose upper body was found at the scene.”

This is from USA Today

Collin College in Texas reports shooter killed, campus in lock down
11:51 AM

Collin College in McKinney, Texas, reports that shots have been fired at the Central Park campus and that the campus is on lock down.

Update at 11:56 a.m. ET: The college says at its web site that shots were fired at the McKinney Police Department near the Central Park Campus, shortly after 9 a.m. CT today, and that the shooter has been confirmed dead.

“The campus was put on lock down immediately, and students were notified through the college’s emergency alert system,” the college says.

No students, faculty or staff were injured. “Police are still on the scene and the campus is on lock down until further notice,” the college says.

Update at 1:09 p.m. ET:The Dallas Morning News reports that the man apparently parked a pickup in front of the police building and set it on fire. He also screamed in the direction of the building before opening fire. It was not immediately clear whether he was shot and killed by police or died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

(Posted by Doug Stanglin)

This is from the Buffalo News.

“1 hr ago | Buffalo News

Sources: Police talking to 1 of 3 ‘people of interest’ in shooting

Buffalo police this afternoon have been talking with one of three “people of interest” in connection with the City Grill killings, several sources told The Buffalo News.

Lock down Lifted as Buffalo Police Search for Shooting Suspect

Buffalo Police have lifted the lock down of the Ferry-Grider Housing Projects. Officers were searching for the suspect in Saturday’s quadruple homicide.

19 hrs ago | WGRZ-TV Buffalo

Buffalo Shooting Victims Memorialized At Crime Scene Vigil

Early Monday evening, citizens began gathering at the site of a shooting spree on Main Street in Buffalo which left four dead and four wounded in the wee hours of Saturday.

A community activist tells 2 On Your Side that members of rival gangs had an altercation inside the City Grill before Saturday’s shooting that left four people dead .


Victim Describes Chaotic Buffalo Shooting

Crouched on a sidewalk over her fallen husband, a woman whose first-anniversary party was shattered by gunfire pumped his chest in vain and begged him: “Don’t die! This is our anniversary; please don’t die!” A survivor of the shots that killed four people during the weekend gathering at a Buffalo restaurant provided The Associated Press on Monday …”

I just watched one of my favorite movies of the 1970’s. Rich people discover immortality and train savages to harvest wheat for them. Then they get bored and savages lead by Sean Connery kill them all except for a few women that he has sex with. Its all about the will to death. Something humans seem pretty good at.

Now the History channel is doing a documentary about Hell. UM the History channel? Should be called the Christian right wing propaganda channel.
Quote “The Dead Need Blood, in order to communicate and be with the living.” Yep that is history all right.

Hey its my birthday and I can cry if I want to die if I want too. Yep it could happen to you.

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