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Relentless Mortality

The Inspiration

Scorners of Death by Otto Dix

Gallery P30, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

The Matter

What, really, is life? What is living? Some ascribe a meaning, a purpose that drives them. Something that motivates them to shuffle through each day. Some find meaning in their beliefs, others in actions. Some find meaning in nothing more than just being.

I would like to find my own path to that level of self-fulfillment. To discover the way to be alive, truly and wholly, irrespective of some external measurement like beliefs or actions. To see each moment as being its own purpose. I want to navigate a path that leads me to the conclusion that existing is both the motivation and the reward.

I know that that probably sounds like a closed loop, a circular philosophy. But I don’t think it actually is. Instead, it’s my feeling that it’s like a sun burst. It reaches outward. It’s an inward purpose that pulses out toward our beliefs and our actions. It envelopes everything. So rather than making one thing meaningful, it’s the meaning we ascribe to ourselves that illuminates and flavors everything else.

I think the duo in this work looks at Death not as a force to be rebelled against. Rather, I believe that Death is a reminder to them that their impermanence fuels their self-worth. The meaning they intrinsically hold. As a result, it fuels everything they do. They scorn it by living as fully and completely as possible. They rise above in spite of Death, not just because of it.

I hope you’ll forgive me for this post; I’m out of practice, and reading back over what I’ve written, I’m not sure my thoughts have been communicated quite as well as I would have liked, but this blog is more just a practice in self-reflection and also a way to let art inspire me, and in those two expectations, I believe I've succeeded. :-)

The Art

Naught But Marble

by jpk

You are naught but marble

You are naught but earth

You are naught but breath

You are naught but a dirge

You float on wings in humid air

You stand so stalwart, rain or shine

You crumble while you repose

You never take notice of the passing time

You revel in your joy

You revel in your pain

You revel in the verses

You revel in the refrains

But you are naught but marble

You are naught but earth

You are naught but breath

You are naught but a dirge

The Portrait