A Lack of Meaning

Contributed by on 18/12/12

The child was born into the world in blood and pain, but such is the way of all births. You can light candles, put on mood music and burn incense all you like, but it doesn’t change the fact that a baby’s head is too big to fit through that opening. Flesh tears, mother and child scream, clean white linen is stained red. That’s how things begin. That’s the story of a birth.
It draws spectators, of course, a birth in a fairly public place. Word spreads, it’s hard to keep something like that quiet, and before you know some colourful local characters show up with inappropriate gifts. All you want is to be alone, to hold on to the child, protect it, keep it safe, keep it secure. God forbid the worst happen, god forbid anything happen to your precious, blameless, innocent child.

It draws spectators, of course, a death in a fairly public place. There’s blood and pain, such is not the way of all deaths, but it is the way of this one. Flesh tears, mother and child scream, clean white linen is stained red. That’s how things end. That’s the story of a death. A death in the name of a god, a death bidden by him, for him. A stupid, senseless, pointless death. So you give it meaning. You give it purpose. You make sense of the loss of your child. You build a shrine to him, you remember him, on and on and on. Still, you can light candles, put on mood music and burn incense all you like, but it doesn’t change the fact that a man is dead. Even if you choose to call him a god.

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