The Valley of the Shadow of Death: The Big Question

When Hugh died, I was left to process some pretty heavy stuff.  As a result, it nearly killed me as well — had I not reached out to the appropriate channels when I did.  Hopefully this explains the vile posts and the hole I fell in several months ago which I am only now finding myself slowly but surely crawling out from.

When my mother passed back in May of 2000, it was a matter of course.  You see, she had a very rare form of terminal cancer that was only held fast by a unique and risky type of procedure.  Because of this intervention, we knew that each day we had with her could easily be the last.  This, of course, cast a pall on everything except her.

It was when she died that a very troubling, disturbing and very real scenario presented itself; a scenario I’m sure not too many people have had the pleasure of observing.  Here’s what it was:

My mother was a devout Catholic.  Her faith was palpable.  It was by God’s will that she had survived each and every day.  She also had enough Near Death Experiences walking with Jesus himself in heaven to galvanize her love of the Holy Trinity beyond any shadow of any doubt.  Her faith became stronger each day she woke up alive.

My father on the other hand is a militant atheist, well, except for those times when he conjures God just long enough to deliberately blaspheme Him out of spite.  If there is a god, there is no more hatred anywhere on this earth than in my father’s heart for God.  My dad would say the most unbelievably blasphemous stuff I have YET to hear ANYONE say ANYTHING like it in person, on TV, in the news or in the movies.

“Animate that clay, and then promptly SMITE it because it did exactly what you knew it would do because you’re God and you know everything.”  That’s the tamest one I can think of.  (This line of thinking, incidentally, leads to some very disturbing revelations when you apply it to, say, a war, or a particularly brutal dictator.)

My mother’s love for my father was literally unbelievable.  My father’s love for my mother was equal if not moreso.  He belied a profoundly tender and gentle nature frequently with a cantankerous exterior.  When he tended to her afflictions, there was no question you were in the presence of an ancient soul — whether you believed in reincarnation or not — who truly, and honestly, and deeply understood exactly what love really was.

I do believe the friends I have left can attest to my testimony above.  Now, let’s begin.

My mom dies. Splat. Now what? Ask yourself logically WHAT MUST NECESSARILY HAPPEN?

We assume that my mom goes to heaven.  Yay.  But what happens to my dad?  Remember, we’re not dealing with a passive agnostic here, we’re dealing with a deliberate blasphemer who will NEVER accept God or Jesus or Allah or Shiva or whatever, simply on the basis that all human suffering exists because of whatever you want to believe created us.

We must assume that he goes to hell, right?  Now think about this: If we assume my mother is in heaven and we assume that she loved my dad, then we must assume she is in heaven AND she is waiting for her beloved.

If we assume that they are honest in heaven, then, when my dad passes, my mother is going to get The Bad News. “Sorry, your husband isn’t coming..”  Now, how can heaven continue to be heaven for my mom?  If you knew you’d never see your beloved again — and worse — knew that they were going to roast for all eternity, what kind of heaven would that be for you?

They can’t just conjure a simulacrum of my father for her benefit either, because that would be deception, a tool of Satan.  If they do conjure a phantom for her, then God does the devil’s work.  Period.  Either that, or get accustomed to lies being “a thing” in heaven.

Oh, but God’s love is so encompassing, you’ll forget all your life’s loves for His Eternal Glory will burn away everything you’ve ever loved down here on earth.  Well, then don’t bother loving anyone — it won’t matter in the long run, after all.  And this logical argument necessarily destroys the sanctimony of marriage.  Be a dick to your fellow man, so long as your love for God is true all will be right.  No wonder the world is in such sorry shape.  There is no incentive for human beings to be good to one another following this logic and it would  therefore be reasonable to assume that this premise becomes a fundamental argument when we justify the pain we inflict upon one another.

And if they let my dad in (remember, miracles are God’s work, after all) for my mom’s benefit, then he gets off on a technicality.  You can hate on God all you want, just make sure someone out there really, really loves you.  The logic here hurts my brain.

And finally, my dad cannot be in heaven AND hell at the same time.  This one is important because it illustrates religion’s capacity to adhere to logic.

As we can clearly see, The Whole Fucking Thing begins to simply fall apart.  Everything gets called into question and any sense religion could offer utterly disintegrates under this scenario.  Permanently.  This isn’t some theoretical situation I conjured out of the aether just for the hell of it, like that stupid “can God make a rock so heavy he can’t lift it?” thing; this is a very real scenario that I was forced to process when my mom died.

What all this essentially boils down to, is that if there is some kind of God, then this entity is ultimately unknowable until time of death.  And even then, we still may not know.

I stuffed it in the back of my head and ignored it for the most part.  That is, until my best friend’s step-mom died.  Then I had to process it again to a degree until I could beat it back down to a point where I could comfortably ignore it. 

And then Hugh died.

But this time, I had begun to notice, that if there is a God, he seems intent on culling the gems from this earth with a ferocity and efficiency equal only to his propensity to replace them with no end of awful, miserable, wretched people.  It’s as if the genuinely decent, beautiful people are not supposed to be here…like, they managed to slip through some kind of perverse quality assurance team whose sole purpose is to ensure people like that don’t make it here.  The rest of us are varying degrees of borderline, but they seem to be made to be promptly undone, like an editor swiftly backspacing over a typo.  The moment decency is detected, the gremlins are dispatched post haste.  And if you’re a good person reading this, congratulations! They haven’t found you … yet.

I’m beginning to find my own meaning in things now.  But they are coming from within…from within my heart and my mind.  And I am beginning to accept that when the questions matter, and I mean really matter, we simply cannot know. 

That is something I can have faith in.

For anyone who has read this far, and/or cares, I hope I can be better understood with what I have said.  There is a reason for all things, and there are reasons why I am who I am.

I will hopefully get back to posting regularly scheduled derp.  For all those who have hung in there with me…thanks.


Artwork Upload “Someone 2”

Another pencil drawing of an imaginary woman

what:graphite when:today digital scan

this one is a photograph. Lighting sucked.

high res

high res

More graphite practice. I drew another woman from my imagination. I started getting fatigued with the hair, and although a little sloppy, I liked how it turned out. I didn’t want to ruin it, even though it was just practice.

For some reason it didn’t scan well. It looks much better in person. Need to figure out how to scan artwork, or photograph it for the web. Yay. Learning stuff. I really don’t wanna have to deal with photography, but if scanning is going to undo all my hard work, then it looks like I have no choice.

Artwork Upload “George Carlin Portrait”

George Carlin Portrait

what:graphite when:Mar 15, 2012

More graphite practice. This time I actually looked at a subject. In this case, it was the illustrious George Carlin. Yeah, I know, I botched his eyes. That’s why it’s practice!

May The Great Electron preserve his atomic structure.

(Rest in peace, George. Tell Carl Sagan we miss you both)

Artwork Upload “Someone”

what:graphite when:today

I’ve not had much experience with straight graphite before. But there is a picture I want to draw in it, so I decided to get a little practice in first, by conjuring a woman out of thin air, that wound up looking like this. Trying to get a feel for the medium, so I don’t smear it all to hell and back. I have no idea how I’m going to pull things like “hair” and “eyelashes” out.

Clearly, it’s a “left-to-right” medium, no exceptions, so I wonder if I’ll ever get it down. I always start with eyes, nose, lips, hairline, face outline, then hair. If I am to work in graphite, I must work from left to right – starting with the hair, cheek, THEN eye, etc…not very sure of myself in this medium. Especially when it cannot be erased, like my trusty mechanical.

I notice immediately that it looks far more grainy and sloppy as a scan than mechanical, but it’s much, much darker. My last mechanical almost looks blue. Patience is clearly going to come into play as well, so the entire image shares consistency. In this image you can clearly tell where I spent time and were I did not.

I guess that’s why it’s called practice. I should prolly start with really huge pieces of paper and just start practicing things like eyebrows, lashes, beards and hair.

Let the idiot be heard!

Welcome to my blog-thing, where I record and share my creative endeavors.

Every pixel, drawing, song, music clip, poem, musing, rant or rave are all things that have fallen out of my brain, with the exception of a few songs which were collaborative efforts. There are millions of people already out there that do an infinitely better job at aggregating neat stuff far better than I ever could, so I’m not even going to try.

I’m just here to clutter the Internet up with new stuff. Because, you know, the Internet always needs more stuff. Although I’m sure to fail spectacularly at providing at least one thing you like, I will always be here trying, writing, playing, drawing, and rhyming.

I. My Art

This is a collection of things I’ve drawn from all the way back in 6th grade up until present. Click on my prismacolor drawing to the right to see more.

All of my “art” is done in pencil, ink or prismacolor. (I’ve recently been trying to digitally color things)

    see my “art” gallery
    read about my “artwork”

I hope you see something you like.

Julia Roberts Portrait Attempt

what:prismacolor (black) when:Mar 16, 2012

II. My Music

Most of the music for now is just little bass jingles I’ve recorded over the years, however, there are a few completed songs with help from others.

I play bass, guitar (acoustic, classical, 12 string), piano, drums and I record.

And I suck at all of them.

    about my music

A few samples are to the right.

sample bass jingle
Happy” (bass solo)
The Impossible Gift” (piano)
A Better Time” (full song)
III. My Writing

Who doesn’t write nowadays? I’ve got all kinds of garbage just spilling out of my decrepit, emaciated brain. I attempt to write goodly things like thoughts, poems, musings, philosophy and opinions.

You know, the stuff you don’t wanna read.

Anyway, there’s all sorts of goodies just waiting to be ignored. Which, in all honesty, you prolly should.

Except for, iunno, maybe this. You might like it.

social commentary
my quotes
my stupid guide to life with too many words

If you ever get lost, or confused as I always find myself to be, be sure to check out the tabs at the very top of this page, or the category links to the right.

At any rate, I hope you find something here that you like. Enjoy your visit!

[every single piece of creative media on this site is original (to the best of my knowledge) unless explicitly stated for a specific piece. Please do not steal, plagiarize, mutilate, bend, fold or eat. For external use only. Thank you.]