Wear your favorite character from the Astar’s Blade Epic Fantasy Series: The Skeletal King, the Witch, or Aberfell the Supreme Historian.
Death. Maybe it is morbid to think about. I have heard it said that ‘death is a part of life,” but I never really understood the concept. It always seemed to me that death and life were mutually exclusive; to me it was like saying, black is a part of white, or wrong is a part of right. I found a little story, one that hospice makes available for those that are losing, or lost, a loved one. The story goes something like this: consider death as a boat departing with your loved one away from a familiar home port. As they leave your presence it is sad to see the boat depart, growing smaller, to finally disappear beyond the horizon. But imagine the gladness for the person on the boat, or the people on the farther shore, when it appears on their horizon, and what a joyful event it will be to those receiving them on the other side.
Maybe it is only a matter of perspective. In John Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies, he writes: ‘the circumference of a circle can be measured starting at any point along the circle’. Maybe when thinking about life and death as part of the same circle, then there might be a situation where life is death, and death is life, maybe they are not so mutually exclusive after all.
As I wrote the first book of the Astar’s Blade series, The Provenance, I was fascinated by exploring this peculiar juxtaposition of life and death. I started by telling the legend of Heironomus, a merciful God of Light, the God of birth, a God that blesses long life to the grateful masses. But by doing so, would not this benevolent action violate the circumference of the life/death circle? By extending life, it would be denying death, delaying the process of renewal, and increasing the size of the circle, increasing its diameter. Would a watchful and concerned God worshipped by humans, be considered a violator, a trespasser, to the design for cosmic renewal? In other words, by extending existing life, would this same God be delaying, maybe even denying, new birth? This God would be so resistant to change that in a cosmic sense, not a human one, that God would be held in contempt, even hated or feared, despite being loved by mankind?
Then, the God of Darkness, who would be a God of death, a God feared and dreaded amongst humans, but one that provides the cosmic creation with recycling and renewal of life energy. Would not this God be considered to have a particular, if not peculiar, noble purpose as a worthy steward and dependable agent for cosmic renewal? His importance would keep the circle of life/death the same size, keeping the balance, and keeping the spiritual trains running on time. He would be considered the favored son, dependable, revered as keeping the faith of a higher purpose?
While we, human beings locked in this world, are forced into only one perception of time, look at one God worthy of our praise and one to fill us with dread? The Cosmic Creation would see it completely opposite, where blessings of long mortal life would be thought of as an action more rogue, and the God of Death who kept a steady, dependable, and constant supply of renewable life energy would be held in high regard.
Perspective turns our truth to lies sometimes. Our views as human beings would fail to appreciate the mysteries of a much more complicated cosmic creation. My goal of writing this fictional book was to create a world of shifting the perspective away from our ordinary lives, and make the circle mean something else. Not evil, not good, but just in motion – a change. Albert Einstein once said, energy cannot be created or destroyed. Energy just changes.
But fear can develop from anywhere, anytime.
When I was young, I saw a werewolf walking across a grass field in the middle of the day. It flashed by me very quickly from the safety of the backseat car window. No one else in the car seemed to notice the werewolf struggling to find his footing in the tall grass. When I turned to looked again, we had already moved past the grass field. The scene was gone, replaced by a blur of trees, light posts, and storefronts. I was never really sure if the werewolf was real or not.
Later, I remember sitting on the bending stairs of our house feeling bad. My mother saw me and sat a few stairs below me. She was feeling bad too. She had been crying.
“What’s wrong Mom?”
That is when she told me that my grandfather Joseph, my namesake, had died.
“Why did he have to die?” I asked.
He had died from a blood clot in his leg, she told me.
“But why did he have to die?” I asked again.
“We all have to die some time,” she told me. That is when I received the biggest shock in the world. That someday, death would be coming to me too, and it was not just something bad that happened to people accidently. My life was a temporary condition. My Mom saw my panic.
She told me, “You have your whole life to live, and you will be ready when it’s your time.”
Now, I only need to do all the things I want to do before the werewolf finds me.