Robert S. Wilson is also giving away all sorts of prizes, so make sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post. With that, I hand over the page....
Robert S. Wilson: The Big, Bright Belly of God
The name of this post was taken from a story I wrote called The Death Catcher. I'm sure you can guess what The Death Catcher is about… If not, I'll give you a hint. What has no life and is dead all over? If you guessed death, you win a prize!*
Death is inevitable.
We all know this and yet, we all try our best to forget it most all of the time. Writers—particularly dark fiction writers—could probably be said to dwell on the subject to a rather unhealthy degree. Like it or not, regardless of what you believe or disbelieve or what may or may not come after it, death is the single most profound subject of life. And I mean no irony in saying so. For every second we're alive nothing is more mysterious, unnerving, unstoppable, or compellingly disturbing than the feeling of knowing you came to exist, you now live, and that ultimately some day, preferably peacefully and painlessly, but more likely terribly and excruciatingly, it will all come to an end.
Blinked out… never to return. (Unless you believe in reincarnation…)
But what, I think, makes death even more unnerving, even more disturbing, and makes us feel even more helpless in the face of it, is the fact that it is not just a lonely fate meant for ourselves alone. I know that I alone will not die; that not only will my elders and my peers and my brother and my sister and my wife die, but my children too will die some day. And that knowledge further complicates the element of immense fear—the tragedy—of death to its utter pinnacle.
And nothing can truly be understood about death without knowing real, desperate, incalculable and emotional loss. The realization that some amazing person who in some way or many ways brightened up your life is now gone from the only life we can truly without question claim to know.
I say that nothing can truly be understood about death without knowing loss because how can anyone understand anything without knowing the true depth of its effects to those in its epicenter? When I was about eight years old or so my aunt on my father's side passed away. I loved my Aunt Betty, but I barely really knew her. I thought from then on that I knew what loss was. In reality, my Aunt Betty loved to lavish me with toys and other gifts when I would come to visit her and therein lay the foundation of our relationship. She loved to buy me stuff and as a young child who barely understood real familial relationships, I loved to receive things.
But true loss and the horrible twisting disturbing bite of it can have other faces. Earlier this year I lost an old friend of mine. We weren't inseparable, we didn't talk on the phone often. We spoke every now and then online, and there was a time when we did spend time together often more than ten years ago. We were both musicians who wrote some music together and had a strong similar passion for writing and performing music.
We had talked throughout the years of getting together some day and writing something new some day, but that day never came and now it never will. And even though I was much closer to my mother, this sort of loss was just as painful if not more so in some ways. This was someone young, younger than me, someone with big, big unfinished dreams, who had been actively fighting to make them come true and in the blink of an eye he was gone.
Someone so full of life, so fiercely unafraid to live, and such a beautiful artist in so many ways.
The beauty of his music, the unfinished plans, the feeling of letting my friend down, and even more so the realization that in a lot of ways I am completely and utterly responsible for taking this person for granted and now I can never take that back. These are some of the things that made his loss, for a time, so completely and life derailingly unbearable. But the worst part of it and what twinged his loss with such a huge sense of utter morbid hatred and bitterness is how my friend died.
He was murdered. In cold blood. For twenty dollars and his Jeep. The Jeep having been left abandoned the next day.
We live in a vast universe, so vast, our minds can't even begin to understand the scope of even a condensed and scaled-down version of it. A vast glorious universe that could very well be one pinprick in a cloud of infinite others. A universe filled with wonders that span billions of years and light years of majestic forces and creations: galaxies, stars, planets, lives of countless variations; from the glimmer of sunlight on a drop of morning dew to the pitch black debris between the stars of the Milky Way.
And yet… we are tiny, insignificant little creatures sprung up from the waters, climbed down from the trees, having evolved from numerous ancestors before us into something that can, after billions of silent, mindless years of clockwork-movement and fight-or-flight, kill-or-be-killed natural selection, look out at the vastness and unending beauty of existence and know that what we're seeing is but a snapshot. A glimpse of something so complex and so beautifully awe-inspiring, and yet we could never truly behold such a thing in all of its true glory and elegance because our minds are yet still unable to fathom even the tiniest working parts of such a thing.
And knowing this, nothing becomes more clear—more sobering—nothing fills up the heart with more emptiness—than the realization of just how deeply unfair death is.
*Actually, you won nothing. Such is life. Get used to it. Because when it's over…
His debut fiction collection Where All Light is Left to Die was just released on September 23rd and the second novella in his cyberpunk/crime thriller Ray Garret/Lifeline series, SoulServe, is available for pre-order and will release on September 30th. He is currently working hard to finish a number of novels and novellas all at once like a blind juggler given knives and led into oncoming traffic.
You can find more information on Where All Light is Left to Die and SoulServe at his website.
Contest alert! Stop by and join in the fun at the Robert S. Wilson Thrown-Together-at-the-Last-Minute-Due-to-An-Overwhelming-Amount-of-Procrastination-and-Indecision
Blog Tour and Book Giveaway Contest for your chance to win one of several prizes.