A Confession of Mortality and Dreams

After rereading many of my posts, it struck me how frequently I speak of death. This surprised me quite a bit because, if anyone, I’m someone who is obsessed with living life. With more goals and ambitions than I can count, it was shocking to see how at the same time, I appear to be death obsessed.

But that is wholly untrue. My obsession lies within the idea of embracing morality and making life worthwhile. St. Jerome was believed to keep a human skull on his desk to remind himself of mortality. So did H.L. Mencken and many philosophers. The concept is anything but new, but at the same time, I feel like it has never reached as many people as it should.

It sickens me to see people who, for the most part, go through the motions of life, never accomplishing the little things they dream of. And then it’s too late. They see that they’ve messed up, and always wonder what things could have been like.

Now I’m not advocating you quit your job and go out to become a hermit. That is far from what I am saying. Responsibilities are a part of morality. But, rather, add in what makes you happy and keeps you motivated!

With these ideas in mind, I set out on creating my own “bucket list” (it also seems like I have an obsession of taking on tasks…haha). It was around 3:00AM on Sunday when I started. I think your mind is most fresh when you are on the verge of a sleep deficiency. You are more vulnerable and honest.

My list came to be about 40 items long. Some were random and others were cliché. But all of them had meaning to me. Finally having all of this written down, it feels even more feasible.

I am tempted to share some of my own items, but at the same time, I don’t want to influence anyone’s list. You should put on it what you truly want to accomplish, not what think you should accomplish.

Go get writing! Keep it where you can see it, that way it’ll always be fresh in your mind and you’ll work towards it.

-C

P.S.: The pictures are just random from around my home of things that make me happy. Like you should make your list do. Go do it. That is all. =)

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How to Go Out in Style!

We often say that funerals are a “celebration of life”, but in most cases that phrase is just a way of dealing with our grief. Unfortunately, funerals have always been very generic in their décor and sayings. Happily, though, a trend to make funerals more personal is taking shape…

First off, let’s do a little vocabulary correction. Most people use the terms coffin and casket interchangeably, but they are not the same thing! A coffin has eight sides with the top (near the shoulders) being wider and tapering narrower and narrower toward the feet. A coffin is much simpler than a casket, and almost any box that the deceased is put in could be referred to as a coffin. A casket is not something only for burial. It is actually anything that holds something meaningful or precious. In today’s western world, most people are buried in caskets. According to An Uncommon History of Common Things, “The term [casket] became widely used among 19th-century U.S. funeral homes, in the belief that it had fewer negative connotations.”

Today, we have gone beyond finding a casket “fancy”.  Novelty caskets are becoming increasingly popular. People are being buried in cell phones, cars, and fish! With this trend, most people design their coffin before death (some many years before death) in order to make sure that it will suit their personality.

Biodegradable coffins, called ecopods, are also on the rise! These coffins are created for “green” cemeteries where decomposition is natural. They can be customized and look (generally) like a “normal” casket and will withstand all of the proceedings of a funeral.

And don’t forget the “do-it-yourself” coffin! Kits are now being made with pre-cut pieces so that you can turn making your coffin into a weekend craft! Paint it however you like (just make sure that it’s sturdy…otherwise things could end up badly…). These kits will not only save you money, but also make for a pretty interesting experience.

These coffins can be made by the most typical coffin-makers on request. If you don’t know your local coffin-maker (chances are you don’t) then order online! Just make sure that you check out the shipping first…that price might be enough to make you need the coffin sooner than you expected.

(and for everyone who would want to be remembered for their love of Doctor Who…)

-C

Many thanks for these outstanding pics:

http://en.nkfu.com/unusual-coffins-from-ghana/&docid=AbcxoQ6Rw5r8HM&imgurl=http://en.nkfu.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/coffins-ghana-6.jpg&w=650&h=425&ei=uSFpT9qCDOu_0QGyz5jvCA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=415&vpy=158&dur=936&hovh=181&hovw=278&tx=133&ty=97&sig=113850343524182226749&page=4&tbnh=118&tbnw=159&start=58&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:58

http://www.photoweeklyonline.com/camera-coffin/&docid=zssL1-Y7LXAPVM&imgurl=http://www.photoweeklyonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Camera_Coffin.jpg&w=580&h=475&ei=ayFpT-jZOeLr0gHPnbCFCQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=312&sig=113850343524182226749&page=2&tbnh=123&tbnw=158&start=18&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:18&tx=75&ty=42

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/content/images/2005/09/27/09_coffin_bag_413x300.jpg

http://www.geekosystem.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/coffin.jpg

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