Of late, I have been thinking quite a bit about death. I have waking visions of putrefaction that distract me from my day to day routine for a few minutes at a time (though nothing yet that interferes profoundly with my functioning). In the most recent vision, I saw both human and animal flesh decaying. It was so vivid I could even smell the process. It was not “pretty” but it was increasingly beautiful, the longer I entertained the vision. I am having these thoughts, seeing these images, smelling these smells and I am growing more fearless of Death and Dying – and perhaps most important – more fearless of the Dead themselves (though not to the point of becoming naive and reckless). Prior to these visions, Death, Dying, and the Dead were fairly unapproachable for me on a deep emotional level. Sure, I had an intellectual understanding of Death and Dying and an intellectual connection to the Dead, but since the visions I feel Death and Dying on an emotional level; The Dead seem tangible on a relational level; I have an intuitive, emotional, visceral grasp of them that I did not have before! It’s actually been kind of amazing. I think that this new encounter with Death, Dying, and the Dead marks a huge step toward improved relations with the Dead and the Gods, Orisha, and Lwa that lead them. This whole encounter with the Three D’s has actually been life affirming in a roundabout way because ultimately we stand on the rot and decay of previous ages. We etch our roads from the bones of the Dead, from the processes of Death and Dying.
And now, I will leave you with a very cool article on decomposition from Forensic Archeology, the site from which the above photo was taken. Hail Dying! Hail Death! Hail the Dead!