They say when you die your mind conjures up what you imagine. Shows you your idea of God, faith or Heaven; suspends you above the pits of Hell. You create what you want to see whatever that might be at the time of your death.
not even be the real deal, it might be just an experience of death: a
taster, a close call, a near miss like two air planes without radar
or traffic control avoiding collision. An appetiser to take away or
whet your fear.
to think I'd find myself somewhere in nature or standing before
Romanesque architecture, or at least feeling a degree of deja vu. A
park bench with a far-reaching view; in awe of a magnificent
structure; or ruminating: Have I seen this before? Perhaps it will
be none of these, but a dizzying reminder of the life I've departed;
a giddying reel of imagery with accompanying dialogue. Unforgettable
and regrettable moments and edited conversations. I imagine I'll
still cringe at the sight of myself or the sound of my own voice.
Self-detachment won't occur until after the baggage you've arrived
with has been gone through, once the machine that processes you no
longer issues high-pitched bleeps.
course these thoughts are all speculative. That plane we supposedly
go to may be none of these things. And when it happens, at whatever
age, I'm convinced my ticket will be one way, and so I meditate upon
be a near-death, it will be game over for that particular vehicle.
The time come to absorb those lessons and plan the next one, if I so
choose. I may not. Life is learning on-the-job, death is coming home.
A resting place for weary travellers. That's how I think of it anyway
and I realise that it may not appeal to you. My speaking of it may
seem morbid, weird or taboo, but I'm comfortable with it. More
comfortable than I am trying to belong, to fit into life. To be a
small cog in a big wheel.
we just end doesn't make sense to me nor do I believe in
repercussions. Education, but not hard punishments dealt out by a
presiding god or an angelic council. I believe we are called to judge
our own acts, our thoughts, our intents – be they wrong or right,
or what we think those camps epitomise, and then decide what we
still have to work on. We're our harshest critics and we devise our
own absolution. There are no weighing scales, hieroglyphics or
this isn't originally what I intended to write. I was going to write
a parody: mock the idea of God as a powerful figure. Place a stone
tablet outside his gate which would claim he'd gone travelling, and
then a person, undefined, would arrive well before his appointed time
and break in. A burning curiosity to know what God's home looked like
getting the better of him, which I had pictured as a Turneresque
ruined abbey: the roof, the open sky; the ground littered with
unfurled parchments. God, of course, would discover the intruder and
provide some humorous advice on living life and not cheating death.
when I sat down to write the fable I've outlined, it refused to
materialise as a squirrelled away part of me had other things to say
on the matter and these words had to be released. Like Picasso's
famous painting of a dove with an olive branch in its beak, to do so
would bring me peace.
come about? In a way, yes. I feel as though I've attempted to circle
the globe and extended the clasped olive branch; said it's okay to
ponder or share what the death state might be like: see an afterlife
of some description, believe in retribution or atonement, picture a
class room or another life. On being questioned or examined closer,
none of us completely identify with or reflect the same beliefs, even
within a rigid dogma. There are always differences, and no matter how
slight, it's important to embrace and not suppress these. It's okay
to believe you're a creator.
Picture Credit: Dove of Peace, Picasso 1961