From BBC Future I noticed a special story in the article “A frozen graveyard: The sad tales of Antarctica’s deaths”. About the oldest human remains found in Antarctica.
It was a young woman – a native of Southern Chile. She got to Antarctica and died there only a few years after the first explorers had set foot on the continent.
So what happened? Who was she? How did she die?
There is a great resonance in stories about forgotten deaths, for me. In a sense we are all in risk of dying lonely and forgotten, whether in some hospital in between a few relatives’ visits or as a drunkard or beggar in a back alley somewhere.
Not dramatic stuff, like going down with a plane over the Atlantic and disappearing, just … normal ways to die. But still ways who are forgotten, largely. They are nothing special. We may even be a lone.
Maybe only a few people knew us. In life.
But still we had a life.
A whole little universe of a life.
As did this young woman.
Who collapsed on a frozen beach somewhere after having escaped the whalers who kidnapped her?
Or was abandoned? After she had … fulfilled her purpose.
Or beaten down and left unconscious and then she woke up and was all alone in the loneliest place on Earth?
Who knows …
But she was found, over 150 years later, and left for us to wonder.
About her, and all others who are forgotten. In life or death.
Love-stories like these may be seriously old-fashioned, in so many ways:
A World War II fighter pilot is shot down. His wife of just a few months, is only told what happened a long time later – that her husband is missing in action.
And that means dead.
And then many decades later she finds out about what happened, and we are told that she chose never to marry again.
Yeah, that sounds old-fashioned and kind of silly from a modern perspective. But such a story is special to me even so. I like to think that there is something so powerful in some love-stories that they are a reflection of what might be … on the other side, so to speak. If you believe, of course, there is a side to life – after this life. That’s the only way I can interpret such a story. That’s the only way I really want to interpret it, and I feel quite comfortable admitting that.
So yeah, some might say this is just daydreaming and that people who lose a loved one in war or other situations should ‘get on with it’.
I actually feel that Peggy in the story below did ‘get on with it’, meaning … she did get on with life in general. She likely lived a full and good life in many respects. I do believe that. But that did not include getting married again. There could be many reasons for that, too, but I like to take her on her word:
“Billie was married to me all of his life, and I choose to be married to him all of my life.”
Thanks to Ron Current of Still Current for posting this story, as one of “Three Stories of Heroes of Normandy” …
I like stories that move, and I intend that this be not the last one featured here on The Blog. After all, what is life but stories … ?
Older lines … a drawing of a 16 y.o. Carrie from my Shade of the Morning Sun-stories. I feel like I want to return to these stories, too – and soon.
And that is always a good feeling.
“Outside the great hall in the central Tower, she could see how the crystalline structures of the Secret City all glowed translucently with the light from the autumn sun.
She could also see the sun rays cascade through that particular great window like a perpetually shining waterfall that conferred on everyone gathered in the hall a slight aura of light.”
Morning Joys: No, not that. But writing again – in a few hours I have of my own.
This next part of my Hammer & Magic-story has been a long time in coming and I almost felt something was beginning to freeze over inside me and make me fear that I would grind to a halt with this story, too – because many weeks had been allowed to pass.
Fortunately, it all thawed again once I actually forced myself to start writing again.
That is a good lesson.
Still, I should not forget that my recent story-endeavor is an investment, too. Right now it is an investment in my peace of mind, because I only write when I can do so and truly relax …
It is tolerable to work like this [as a webdesigner], more than any other work I have done before. But I know I will feel bereft if I end this life and have not found out how to make money from something that I feel more … right. Not necessarily something deeply purposeful – that is The Blog and that is enough, regardless of circumstances. But something that is … more fun, where I use more of my skills, more of ‘me’. And that has always been storytelling-
And so I have embarked on Hammer and Magic, my next try to do some fiction with a little bit of art this time and make it work – this time. Not as a comic book, not as a novel – for those media have failed me. I suspect it will be a site for roleplayers with stories and a world and perhaps some sales down the line of paperbacks and t-shirts and maybe premium memberships. We will see.
It is honestly not so important. What is important is that I do it and that I do it in the right way.
And that also means recognizing that I can’t really have a joyful day unless I do this first, now that I have the chance while alone. And I need only an hour to create that joy.
I need to learn, too, but more about how to create synergy between my bread-work, my current passion project for writing and, of course, my highest purpose work – which is The Blog.
But in recent days I have found a break, while Char and Jay were sleeping and I just did it – another installment of Hammer and Magic.
That will have to do for now …
A day with even a bit of writing is a day of magic. No more needs to be said. It just needs to be remembered
Like I wrote the other day:
… I am still only doing Hammer and Magic – art and illustration bits – in my spare-time when I need to relax. I am going to be deliberately and hopelessly “unprofessional” about how I work on this project, because I know from experience that … nothing else works, if I want to stay motivated under the circumstances of my life.
And I am very clear about that.
In the middle of everything, I manage to write the start of the next chapter of Hammer and Magic. That gives me more energy than – almost – anything else I have managed.
Nothing more really needs to be said. But all of this needs to be remembered – every day.
All around us: The profound azure blue of the Lake dotted with thousands and thousands of small, star like diamonds – and I had been so busy thinking about … everything. I hadn’t even noticed it, and we’ve sailed what? An hour…? At least.
“It’s the high noon sun,” Jacob notes quietly. “And we’re in way up in the mountains – not a cloud on the sky. So in a way the lake is almost close enough to touch the sun. It looks that way, doesn’t it?”
“It’s more … it’s so beautiful,” I just repeat, at a loss for words again. “I wish I could take a photo, but with my old camera it’ll probably end up like shit.”
“Better just to watch it then … ” Jacob says. “Maybe it’s always better to try to experience the most beautiful things in life directly… ”
And so we try.
That is another good form of beginning, I suppose: To constantly imagine what I will draw, even if I don’t have time yet to draw it. Or have even decided how ambitious I am going to be, and can possible be, about it.
But these are seeds, and they are nurtured at times when I am slogging through the winter rain to get some thing or other for Jay’s dinner from one of the few super markets open.
And thus they grow.