ʻUhane: Ghost. Warning: dark and disturbing.

Just now Maile, 2,  turned to me, waved her pink magic wand at me, and said, "Bing! I bing you into a ghost."

I hammed it up with a spooky: "Ooooohh!" But then my imagination clicked and hissed alive like a gas flame. Suddenly, to be bodiless. Ghost neurons firing along invisible electric paths through the compact air. The growing dread-- the permanence of your own corpse paling, cooling, coagulating. The urgency to somehow take it back, to undo the few tiny microseconds that clipped the umbilical chord between soul and body: the connection that can never be reknit.

Not a fantasy. An inevitability. If something of me exists out of, in spite of, beyond my body, then that moment will happen. Bodies die. If there are souls, they don't. That knock-the-wind out of you shock, the splash into glacier water, the flayed shocked of conscious experience of death? If there are souls, that will happen. Maybe it will just be the last flickering spasms of cells climaxing with one last breath-- the last conscious breaths of electricity flickering through cooling nerves. Or maybe a portal to a long strange otherness. Or a flash into a new womb, a new clean brain to grow and stunt and damage and carve with deep rivulets through a new life.

For some, the idea of death being the end of life is the terror. For me, this morning, the threat of souledness seems like the real horror.

The hope, though, that things are better beyond this fleshy veil-- what about that? What about tearful overdue reunions?  What about the promise of absolution, or peace, of redemption? What about MORE? What if, rather than a painful shocked echo of life undone, the moment of death is a sigh of relief-- the ache of bodilessness like the throb after a migraine-- a tender spot where the pain was and is now gone? A sudden giddy clarity; relief, the whole thing becoming plain outside of the dark physical light of the sun?

I don't dare hope. I don't know how to hope for something merciful and fair when life seems to be as chaotic as an ecosystem: beautiful spreads of feathers, throbbing chlorophyl veins; also poison barbs, fallen nests, and reproductive strategies that favor the odds rather than fairness or mercy.


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