WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE?

I’m not planning on dying anytime soon but I was just a little curious about the aftermath of becoming deceased.

I suppose my spirit will go to heaven and my body will turn to ashes or dust, depending if it’s cremated or buried.

People who knew me will send their condolescences to my next of kin and they might even shed a tear or two or shout ‘God Riddens’ from the rooftops.

They might mourn my passing for a few spectacular moments but in truth, they will not miss me beyond the next meal and sleep..

So what does happen when we die?

Are we suddenly invested with supernatural powers and are granted a visa in perpetuity to pass through the Pearly Gates to the afterlife, as another living creature, reincarnated or otherwise?

Are you kidding me?

I started to wonder after watching a ridiculous film called ‘Swiss Army Man’ about the antics of a dead corpse washed up on the beach of a deserted island.

Now I realize that farting after we die is trending all over social media and we DO fart, extraordinarily though it may sound, after we die.

So the ridiculous film I watched was actually thought-provoking and quite informative.

Hand on my heart, I can honestly say that I HAVE seen a man fart before my very own eyes but I have NEVER seen a dead man, let alone a farting dead man.

Of course, if we can fart when we die, we can poop too.  That’s otherwise called Defecation to the Shitless Wonders out there who are wanting to expand their English vocabulary.

And if you have ever heard the uncouth expression ‘Shit come out of your mouth’, now you know where it comes from and why.

Truly, I would not care to be a funeral undertaker who has to clean up the almighty mess.

The horrific smell of sulphurous gas caused by farting cannot be ignored.

We all know, I think, that bodies shrink and shrivel as we begin to decompose.  Our body temperature cools and rigor mortis sets in.

Our bodies just bloat, blister and burst until we eventually become no more than a skeleton.

So much for embalment but who wants to be preserved as a Mummy or a stuffed model of who we once were?

It amazed me to note from that ridiculous film that a man can die with an erection of his ‘youknowwhat’ and maintain it after he has died.

Totally mind-blowing I know but apparently true!

Let me take another look at all those depictions, paintings, sculptures and the like, of that Jewish guy who was crucified on the cross all those years ago.

I think I might have missed something.

Anyway, are you still along for the ride?

I have tried to write this essay/article with a sense of humour but at the same time with a sprinkling of expressions which are relevant and pertinent for anyone learning English as a second language.

Many of the important expressions I have highlighted.

I’ve read somewhere that our corpse turns all sorts of weird colours as our red blood cells go into overdrive and that bacteria, acid, stuff like that, endogerously (what a word!) enjoys a fabulous feast.

I love post-mortems, don’t you?  Coroner’s Inquest.  An autopsy on the body.  Death by misadventure, whatever that means.

That’s it, my friends.  I’ve said my piece.

I want to go and Rest in Peace.

Well, not yet exactly but chill out for sure.

STARBUCKS COFFEE SUCKS

This is the true story of one day when I went to a Starbucks coffee shop to buy a cup of coffee.

What happened leads me to say that Starbucks Sucks.
I am no fan of this American coffee chain as the recount of my recent visit to the Starbucks  coffee shop will relay.
First, I had to wait 15 minutes to pay for a coffee with cash because their machines were down and they could not somehow override the system manually.
Secondly, they even wanted me to pay for the coffee with a debit or credit card because there was a queue behind me and I was apparently responsible for that but I do not know how or why.
Thirdly, they did not serve the coffee immediately but wanted to know my name as well before making the coffee. They said no name, no coffee.

I told them my name was X.
Next, the coffee was served in a plastic cup which appalled me for the fact that I was paying almost 4 US dollars for one cup of American coffee!
I decided to return to my car nearby to fetch a mug for them to serve the coffee in that.

They refused. They said it was against Company rules and would count as an outside drink.
Needless to say, the coffee, when I got to drink it from the plastic cup, was not piping hot as I wanted.  It was a case of take it or leave it, so I took it.
I proceeded to pour the coffee myself into the mug at which point a staff member asked me to leave the shop.
When I sat down to drink the coffee at a table, a uniformed security man came over and prompted me to leave immediately.
At no time was I impolite to the staff or had I made an undue fuss.
There was also no available coffee refill, unlike at McDonalds.

I did not even contemplate a refund.

I clearly made the wrong call that morning.

Starbucks really sucks big time!

And that means both their service and their coffee!

No wonder they call the coffee shop Starbucks.

They put American stars into the eyes of their customers with big bucks and then serve them coffee with little beans.

Thank you for reading my story.

THE SHACKLE

In the true free world, the frontiers of nations are not defined by imperialists, soldiers, merchants or politicians but by mountains oceans and rivers where God lets nature take its course to look after its own.

Humanity must learn again the benefits of free trade, the virtue opf cross-border enterprise, the worth of commerce and an appreciation of every commodity God has given mankind.

Nobody is free until they have experienced the ignominy of the .shackle life itself has put upon every one of us.

We should not be fooled into thinking or believing that there is a way to avoid the shackle.

Because there is not.

Rules, regulations, conditions , laws and social constraints such as caveats and warnings, lay down the parameters of what we are able to do as individuals in a civilized society in our daily lives.

We are assured and reasured that they are for the common good because we are members of the human race which creates a society in which those paramaters are necessary to ensure conformity, compliance and a conventional mindset.

The shackle is not a physical restraint but we are aware of it in everything we do and it cannot be ignored..

We can only be truly free when we express our absolute faith with total openness and conviction without recourse to religious retribution or labelling, Inter-national meddling or manipulation.

The Shackle is the ultimate non-visual icon.

We  can read signs, follow instincts, be guided by our elders and embrace an education which puts down stepping stones for our pathway through life.

But in the true free world and in the twenty first century, the mere existence of the shackle is the only thing which ushers the way forward for peace on earth for us all.

A WOMAN I LOVE

She does not enter my world

And she is not a part of my life.

She is just a simple stupid girl

Who I took one day as my wife.

 

She is but a figment of my imagination

And our souls have never met.

She is the endless ocean of my desparation

And the magnitude of my debt.

 

She is just a wonderful vision I once saw

With eccentric, exciting, impossible eyes.

A woman, if not a girl i could completely adore

As a deserving sexual prize.

 

But she does not know my route

Or have any sense of my direction.

She is the passive prostitute,

Not offering any tenderness or affection.

 

True love is not something to be bought

Or barted for in heartless negotiation.

Forgive that she does not know that solitary thought

Which leads to our physical separation.

 

She is but a silent shadow

And a ghostly apparition in my life.

Who is she?  Who is SHE? I do not know.

The woman I love is not my wife.

 

And yet this is a woman I dearly love

With every element of my being.

But all of this, all of it, it is not enough

To compensate the feeling.

 

In her I have placed the greatest trust

That a man can render to another.

She is the unwelcome recipient of my lust

But sad though I say it, she is not my lover.

 

I have no idea now what time it is

Or if darkness will fade into day.

But the yearning for her kindest kiss

Will not go away.

 

This is my oasis,

The pain I must continue to suffer.

Such an existence as this,

Is there not another?

 

The moment it seems cannot be found

To bridge the great divide.

Two people are together by duty bound

But they are on the opposite side.

 

Tears now roll down my cheeks

Is a man allowed no shame to cry?

For days that are longer than calendar weeks,

I will love her till the day I die.

 

And if these words were never written,

Then she would never know,

So much is unknown, so much is hidden.

If it were not for the glow of the Moon Shadow.

WISHING WELL

A nine year old girl stands among the crowd and makes a wish.

Her wish is not the same as the other bystanders who recklessly cast a silver coin into the lake and know not what they do or why they do it.

The sole inhabitant of the small lake is a female green turtle , twenty five years of age.

It is the superstitious belief in her country that the casting of a coin into the lake will bring about good fortune and longevity of life.

Only last week the topic came up in a classroom lesson at school about the danger to living creatures from man-made stuff.

The meaning of that lesson has never left the little girl’s mind.

Tears stream down her cheeks and her hysterical screams echo afar.

She can feel the pain and sheer agony of this living creature.  She wonders, why can’t others?

Sri is an intelligent girl, perceptive, resolute and determined.

She is not going to let this time pass.  She cannot.  She must not.

She snatches her mother’s smartphone, takes pictures of the suffering creature and posts the pictures live on social media.

The need to do this is compelling.

There is a need.

There is a need to do something to save the life of this turtle.

Remarkably, within a very short space of time, the pictures have gone viral.

Sri and her family are still a visitor in the late afternoon at the coastal conservation park at which the lake is located and in which the green turtle lives.

Sri has learnt and understands about the damage being done to marine life by plastic waste discarded into the oceans of the world and by the countless coins which are cast into the lake.

Alas, some of those coins can be counted and in this case, exactly nine hundred and fifteen of them weighing an incredible five kilograms or eleven pounds.

That was what was found inside the stomach of the green turtle when veterinary surgeons finally got to operate on her and attempt to save her life.

The coins could have caused a fracture of the turtle’s ventral shell and led to a fatal infection.

Thanks to the prompt and persistent actions of a nine year old, Omsin, as he has been affectionately called (meaning piggy bank by all accounts) may yet get to live out her natural lifespan of eighty years without further degradation by human interference and ignorance.

The world is Wishing Well for Omsin and other living creatures like her.

THE WISHBOX

My name is Bounty.

Allow me to tell you my story and to introduce you to my seven friends.

Blossom.  Grace.  Luck.  Enchantment.  Harmony,  Deliverance.  Divinity.

Together we sit under the moonlight and the glitter of the super stars glowing bright in the night sky.

We are here to celebrate mother earth and all its bounty.

That, by the way, is how I got my name.  (I will tell you that story another day).

This is not the story of that night, although in part it is, but the story of the wishbox.

Trees are our spiritual brethren and we are truly blessed by the angels who watch over us because we are eight fair maidens worthy of purification and protection for our virtue.

We have spent our day making a wishbox.

The Wish Box is such a simple and basic thing to the function of life.

My grandmother always said to be careful what you wish for because it might come true.

There are so many things in this life which I wish for but primarily health, wealth, happiness, longevity and fertility are top of the list.

I am still young and climbing the learning tree of this wonderful life.

I do not yet have the wisdom and aforesight of my dear grandmother but I believe one day I will.

The purpose of making a wish is to connect with the forces of nature and hope that it will be granted.

A wishbox is a deeply personal thing.  No one wishbox is alike or similar to another.

It can be a pouch or a trinket or a box or a tin made with any material such as wood or metal or crystal or porcelain.

Mine is made with tree bark and is half the size of a standard shoebox, rectangular in shape and decorated lovingly with rose metals and scented lavender.

I make it with my friends in a hobby and crafts lesson in the classroom at my school.

According to my grandmother, a wishbox needs to be planted in the soil of the earth after a fresh cleanse of rainfall.

No human should know the contents of the wishbox or where you choose to plant it.

The wish itself should be handwritten on white paper and laid flat within the box, layered over with your favourite flower seeds, soil of the earth and a prized possession from which you dare not part but for this gesture you know you must.

Sacrifice and purification are everything at this time.

The spirits of the fairy world will watch over it until it is eventually time.

The wishbox represents the sanctity of mother earth and nature.

Indeed, fire, water, earth and air are the declared powerful forces at work.

To make a wish to the Gods that be is to utilise the nine sacred woods of ash, rowan, apple, birch, alder, pine, elm, gorse, and hawthorn.

Wishfulness is symbolic.

Gingerbread for affairs of the heart.

A copper coin for job prospects.

A silver coin for abundance.

A glove for a difficult task.

A thimble for hearth and home.

A sprig of rosemary for seeking truth.

An entwined colored ribbon for health and healing.

A cinammon stick for happiness and good luck.

An apple for seeking knowledge.

A feather for finding something lost.

An old iron key for protection.

 

We have listened to our grandmothers, each and every one of us, and have taken care what we wish for.

We have secretly planted our wishboxes and await the outcome.

PROFILE OF A NEO-PAGAN

I thought it’s worth to take a look at what constitutes the profile of a Neo-Pagan.

Paganism is generally perceived as something from the past associated with witches, heathens, druids and indigenous people.

Neo-Paganism represents today a renaissance, reconstruction and revival of beliefs which society has chosen to misinterpret, suppress or simply ignore.

Those who have become disenchanted with the message of modern religion have looked at themselves in the mirror and realized there is an alternative.

A pagan shows reverence to the sanctity of earth and nature and may worship more than one God.

It is by virtue of this that the eight sabbaths are born and humans celebrate both light and darkness, harvest, equinox and solstice by a series of common festivals.

Worship, ceremonialism, ritual, custom, sacrifice and offerings are at the heart of the practice of expression of faith.

We are all pagans in a manner of speaking.

For example, seasonal decorations, sprigs, holly and ivy, mistletoe, yew, pine and evergreen have been festive at Yuletide long before the celebration of Christmas and the invention of Santa Klaus became a fashion and a trend.

Earth is, as we know, divided into the northern and southern hemisphere and the timing of the alignment of the sun and the moon has always played a significant part in human rejoicing.

There are four seasons in the year and each season has two distinct festivals to celebrate.

The new year is welcomed in with pledges and resolutions, harmonised by a desire to purify the soul by a prolonged period of fasting and to seek redemption or forgiveness for wrongdoing.

Mayday is the First of May and signals the commencement of summer.  Flowers begin to bloom and fertility is at its most potent in all forms of life.

Flora, the Goddess of Flowers, blesses young love and folk dance merrily around the maypole dressed with spiralled white and yellow ribbons which unite earth and sky.

It is the time to make a wish and say a few chosen words in hope and expectation.

Midsummer Solstice follows a few weeks later when summer reaches its height and the sun shines longest.

As the year rolls on, the harvest yields food for the coming winter months and we give thanks.

If it rains too much, then our fertile lands become flooded and the harvest damaged.

If it rains too little, we fear a drought and the harvest will not be reaped.

We fear the wrath of the Gods either way.

It is all too easy then to overlook that the primary source of our nourishment and nutrition is not the supermarket shelf but nature itself which solely provides.

And so we reach the end of the calendar year and a great darkness descends.

It is the most appropriate time to pay respects to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets, all loved ones.

There is no ‘trick or treat’ about Halloween, except to say this would happen in reverse time in the southern hemisphere.

The celebration of the core elements of earth, nature, fire, light, harvest, time are fundamental to the principles of human belief and why there is a growing trend to believe in and follow the unconventional, to reappraise religious values.

Paganism embraces earth and nature in every way.

A Neo-Pagan is an activist with a conscience and a moral voice.

Protect the rainforest.  Support animal rights and oppose their cruelty.  Work with and not against nature with organic farming and permaculture.

Respect all kinds of sexual and religious orientation irrespective.

Uphold human rights of every man woman and child in the face of propaganda and rhetoric.

Do not exploit or pollute mother earth or nature and do not take what is not yours to take.

If that means that you are deemed a political radical, then so let it be.

Being a Neo-Pagan is not about dressing up in strange clothes, speaking gibberish, wearing a pendant, lighting bonfires, performing magic, sexually cavorting in public, expressing an unconventional and perhaps controversial point of view.

It is about expressing a true faith, whoever you are.  It is about being yourself.

That I think is the profile of a Neo-Pagan.