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The Art of Living and Dying.

A Journey in Four Stages

Death is not our friend, nor our enemy, but our foreshadower


Her Death Wish

(Parts i and ii)

i) Prologue – the girl

She stands at a juncture. The most critical she has ever faced. And yet it doesn’t feel that dramatic. The decision to end her own life was slow in coming. She had battled a myriad of illnesses throughout her childhood, yet all stemming from the one issue. She had never experienced/possessed/felt, what others had.

Despite the complications over the years, the moment is simple. It is pure. She has never felt so clear. This, coming after further discord – the years of teenage chaos. It was overwhelming - the emotions of an attractive young girl’s world, with its convoluted web of relationships, dramas and tears.

Yet, in sincere reflection, she knew she couldn’t have been more wrong. It was frivolous. Juvenile. And now that she has arrived at this point, all her suffering seemed just as pointless. It did not need to continue. There is another way. It makes the most sense to her.

“I don’t mind so much. It’s my choice. It’s impossible to be happy all the time. And I’m going to a better place.”

All that remained, was a question of how.

ii) Us

The Beginning of Dissatisfaction


Shattered from Comfort

Ripped from the only authentic Heaven

With all needs catered for.

From a warm, luminescent Red

To abrasive White

Biting open atmosphere (Exposed, Cold?)

An aching hunger

The first sensations of Fear.

Strange, encompassing Sensations

Shapes undefined and unsparing Smells.


And an understanding of blurred Faces

Touch, comfort of skin, relief in the Familiar, frustrating restrictions of the Body,

Confusion of Perspectives, the urge to shit and the satisfaction of it.

Kick, roll, simple joys of play, sounds, the sweetness of melody

Delight in known faces, luxury in routine.

To crawl and want more.

To Grow, Sleep, Dream.

A stumble, a victory.

A fall, a fail, a Nightmare. Terror and tears.

A desire, a need, a perpetual feed.

A want and a step.

To Walk, (finally), upon grass.

To copy, imitate and shape.

To verbalise those inner feelings.

To kid around with Kids.

Who become your Friends

And Enemies

While the Wind tickles your skin

The Sun makes you squint

The Schoolyard where all things are possible

And the restrictions never more keenly felt

The classroom to comprehend and confuse

Why? Not fair. Me. Mine. No.

Practice, Lament. A wish for more

Change, the ever constant.

Flesh altering, uncertainty, insecurity.

A divergence in bodies

Inevitable comparisons

A metamorphosis, pimples, pubes, pus and previews

Blood and semen and seismic shifts

The world awaiting and repelling

A blunder through it

Where to be, who to be

So much to choose from

But is it you?

An invention of self

To Fit In

Or brave it alone

A place of your own

If it exists.

To love

To long (so much longing)

To be on the outside

Not wanting to be in

But hurting because you’re not.

A merging with another

Because the inner calling is louder

Than the appeal

Of the recipient.

Placing all your hopes in one basket

A surrender to impulse

A heart is hurting

If not yours,

Soon will be.

The Exultation of Bodies and the senses sublime

The study, the experimentation

The acquisition of knowledge

The frustration of finances

Merged into the workforce

To yield and to harvest

An ideal foreign

Contrary to yours

Already moulded by upbringing.

The conditioning of Country

A culture ingrained

A wedding, a death

A family departed

The finality of it

A blind eye is easier.

And then there are Dreams

The devastation of Rejection

There’s somebody else with more

And you want more

And what you Need

And what you desire

Are two different states.

The Conflict within your soul

Never lets you forget what you are

Even if you are still learning

Exactly who…

The years fall away

And love may find you

And it may not

And the world is deviating

Though you know it’s really the same

And your perspective shifts again

Only if you knew then

What you know now

And the responsibility of that

And all the rest.

The solace in forgiving

The enchantment in wisdom

The more you acquire

The less time there is to utilise it.

And before you are ready to accept it

To pass on what you know,

Your turn has come

Even if no one is listening.

There is a will

A catastrophic urge

To leave a part of yourself behind

To have it

Not been for nothing

Because you know that you’re dying a little every day

And soon there will be no more time

And you’ll wish for more

Or maybe you won’t

But yet, still, you must accept

With no small level of apprehension

That your story cannot be changed

That it has all come to this…

Art by Denis Forkas Kostromitin

(to come Parts iii and iv)

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