Becoming comfortable with decomposition

  • "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." -- The Wizard of Oz

  • "You only think you can eat a three-egg omelet." -- My stomach

  • "You haven't actually been putting food down that disposal, have you?" -- The plumber -- $156.00

  • "Please don't start hoarding worms." -- My sister begs

  • "The body always wants to live."--My opera buddy

I thumbs up like like LIKE lichen.

My favorite guys are fun.

Moss is good, but mushrooms are dandy.

This is a post I've been trying to write for months. And now the season has passed. On the trails I noticed so many fallen and broken trees this winter. I admired the varieties of rot, the gorgeous mushrooms, intricate lacy lichens, and fungi pulling energy from the dead wood.

Huge trees gradually crumble. I can't be scientific about this process, and certainly not eloquent. I can accept it as a gift, and wonder about the meaning. Then suddenly I can be a bit disappointed to find my favorite rotting logs covered under new greening vines and brambles, the process of decomposition screened from my view. The woods and trails are always changing too fast for me, all the clear spaces between winter branches filled with green and buzzing life.

The topic comes up in conversations with friends everyday. Death. There must be a better way of aging and exiting life than the current model in the United States. We would rather, we opine, drive off a cliff, float out to sea, or "just shoot me" than go through declines and dementia like our parents. But the body always fights to live. When we each reach the point where quality of life is nil, we also reach a point incapable of willfully altering the outcome.

Walking in the woods is bringing me acceptance of the concept of eventual nonexistence.  That would be my own personal eventual nonexistence. Being of a certain age, I am even grateful for the concept of my eventual nonexistence in momentary flashes.

Photos and text © 2013 Nancy L. Ruder.
All rights reserved.


Kim said...

And to die is different than anyone supposed, and luckier. (WW)

Collagemama said...

Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself"