Life by Extension

When somebody dies, they may or may not have decided to donate their organs in hope of saving someone still kicking on in the current life. Some people have a card in their wallets saying they’re up for it, others write it in their will, others let a family member know. And what’s important about this was that they gave permission. They put a tick in the box, and said yes, clearly and loudly, and even in death, even while their consciousness is shut down, even after they had no thoughts left at all, their choices over how their body is dealt with is respected.

So without their permission it doesn’t matter if an eight year old girl is in desperate need of a heart just down the hall, even for someone fully formed, with thoughts and opinions, and parents and people who love her, a heart will not be given, and that right will not be violated.

This is how we treat our dead.

But it may not be how we treat our living.

In many ways I can sympathize with the ‘pro-life’ activists. After all, I was unborn thing at one point, and they seem to be fighting for the thing that I once was. And I haven’t had an abortion, so I don’t have any experience I can draw on. They appear to be earnest and well-intentioned, but the issue is, I really love my mum. Really. I do.

She feeds me, and takes care of me, and tries her best to make me happy even when she can’t, and at one point she and I were one and the same, and no matter how much I like to be me, I wasn’t me when I was her. I was just another piece of the way she was. I wasn’t a life, I was an extension of hers, and inevitably, I would fight for the thoughts I have now with all I have left, but that life wasn’t mine, back when I was her.

I was a part of her, a part of her body, and I don’t care whether a woman gets an abortion or not, that is her business, what she does with her body, and the reasons for such. But if we can hold our dead, our useless, expired, flesh vehicles that carry our brains around, to a higher respect than you can a living breathing woman then obviously something is up.

And those activists, those people with their signs and their arguments and their benevolent god, they don’t seem to understand that to be ‘pro-life’, in this sense at least, you also have to be pro a lot of other things as well. You have to be pro-fear, and pro-disrespect, and pro-illegal medical procedures that put vulnerable women in dangerous situations. And while the intentions are pure, they are not enough to outweigh that burden on the conscience.

And I’m not cool with that.

I like my mum too much for this.

And I like my sisters too much.

And I like humans too much, because people deserve to be treated with respect, whether they are biologically able to involuntarily carry a human fetus or otherwise.

And more importantly, you don’t get to decide which lives you get to dominate.

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The Endless Something

We humans, we humans are sitting in the dark, staring out at the darkness; breathing. We build up fires to light the way, but beyond the light we make, there is only more darkness and void. Some of us walk through it, unafraid and willing, curious and interested at what might be out there. Apathetic to what might not want to be discovered, giving in to the cold caress of 2am. While others sit and stare into the black, the weight of flickering shadows resting heavily on their shoulders and their hearts. Afraid, and creative, stories, excuses, reasons to substitute for the truth they cannot yet discover sit within their heads.

They panic at the darkness and the endless superior void, so scared of what we cannot yet see clearly or comprehend the way that we would like that they create a curtain from there imaginations and the possibility of the darkness beyond. Something to shield their eyes, something simple and complete. Nothing half formed or unfathomable. A perfect god. A reason. A sin. An invisible voice telling you, rewarding you, speaking scripted words that everything is going to be okay. Those who do wrong will be punished the way they thought they ought to be punished, and you will be rewarded the way that they thought you ought to be rewarded and everything is going to be alright. It will be fine, says the benevolent god, you will be forgiven.

And in the darkness there are the people. Some peer behind the curtains and into the endless something. And some do not. And they scowl at each other from across the space they share, but still hope for unification in their largely similar humanity.

The darkness remains dark, all deep and impossible and indifferent, dwelling in the possibility of something else. Something bigger, something braver, the perfect god, the imperfect man, the articulation of the fear, the curtain, the window, unable to be undressed by a single word or soul.

And all the people sit in their darkness, being different and unique and scared. With their children and their friends and families, and their hopes and dreams and opinions and thoughts. And the humans hold each other and push each other away in fear and distress and anger and a thousand more incomprehensible reasons, than neither make sense, nor should.

Some scream into the endless silence, some whisper barely a word, each noise echoing into what we haven’t found yet, marking the universe in a thousand different, silent ways, shaping it, changing it, making it better, making it worse.

Children of the universe in motion.