Bitch on the Blog

April 21, 2011

In the dark

Filed under: Communication — bitchontheblog @ 21:34

Re my last post:

As Ramana recently observed there are few takers on the subject of death. Considering that apart from taxes death being a dead cert it’s a sorry reflection on mankind’s ability to live in denial of the unavoidable. Reminds me of my siblings and other kids when playing hide and seek with them: It’s fascinating. A young child will, say, pull a blanket over its face. With its legs for all the seeking world to see. However, and this a big however, because the child now can’t see, is in the dark,  they think themselves invisible. If that notion does not touch your heart to tears nothing will. It’s one of the reasons I hate playing hide and seek. Such misguided sweet innocence.

So let’s leave death to where it belongs and return to the rest of us.




  1. One of my favorite poems started with,

    “I’m hiding, I’m hiding, and no one knows where
    For all they can see is my toes and my hair.”

    I used to love to read that one to my daughter when she was little, and my husband and I still laugh about it.

    What’s there to say about death? Life is short and uncertain. No denial there. For me it just means life is too short to be petty. Focus on the things you treasure the most and appreciate them while you still have them.

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — April 21, 2011 @ 21:40 | Reply

    • That is so lovely, Jean: I had no idea a poem about that very idea existed.

      And of course, you are right about focussing on our treasure. To me that includes all thought on death. If it weren’t for death I dare say we wouldn’t have philosophy – its essential purpose being to come to grips with the whole idea of life in the face of our eventual not being. As you know I met death early on. It is no exaggeration to say that my security blanket was pulled from underneath my feet (figuratively speaking). I go to that grave – not often because so far away – and feel eight years old again. And that utter bewilderment standing there – at the open grave – in first line between my mother and my grandfather. At the end of the vicar’s speech my mother put some earth into my hand. I was frozen. I did NOT want to throw it onto the coffin below. That sound will always echo with me. Now, of course, my grandfather is in that hole too.

      I generally avoid talking about religion in public because in my experience it brings out the worst in those who “believe” in a god. But if it weren’t for death would so many people in the world feel a need for an almighty god to take care of them? Thinking about it a good subject for Good Friday. Why is it called Good Friday? In German it’s “Karfreitag” which sounds more befitting. It is also a day I observe with the gravity it deserves despite the fact that I do not subscribe to any religion.

      I think I said it once before, in response to one of Con’s posts, that my own death never held any fear for me till the day I became a mother. It changed everything. My whole perception. Suddenly it did matter whether I was alive. The thought had potential to do my head in.

      Do you know the Grimms fairy tale “Von Einem der auszog das Fuerchten zu lernen”? A fearless boy leaves home to learn what fear is. He does, eventually. But not really.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 22, 2011 @ 05:14 | Reply

      • Good Friday? I was taught that it was a corruption of God’s Friday, which seems odd to me when Friday is named any way for a god, Frigga.

        Vas is das “Karfreitag”? (and don’t say Good Friday, please.)

        The latching onto fear of death (or creating that fear first and then latching onto it)Is the most brilliant play in the mono theist’s armoury.
        “Behave, do as I say and then you will have eternal life in paradise. If not you will be condemned to an eternity in hell! Oh and by the way I can sell you forgiveness!”
        Discussing the death of a friend and colleague from some time ago(who had a tumour removed from his brain (benign) only to nbe told he had less than a month to live due to a renal cancer) my oldest friend opined:

        “These situations are inevitably very distressing. There are, essentially, two ways one can respond. One can either live with cynicism and bitterness, or with hope. I know which I have chosen.”

        Hope? Blind hope…. hope against all the evidence!

        As for the fairy tale… The only translation I can get is, “Learning from one who left to fear”

        Comment by Magpie 11 — April 22, 2011 @ 17:27 | Reply

        • Dear Magpie, in name of alliteration make that Dear David. So sorry for delay in replying. Internet not playing right. Only my vanity going onto wordpress ‘dashboard’ alerting me to your comments.

          Prior to today you alluded – in a comment a couple of days ago – to messing with children’s minds. Absolutely. Religion does [mess] at the most impressionble age. Quite awful. Shouldn’t be allowed. Stinks to my often quoted “HIGH” heaven. Let’s leave aside that paranoia will be yours with “big daddy watching over your every move”. Orwell’s Big Brother has nothing on god and the church in those stakes. One could, of course, be flattered that HE takes such interest in our tiny selves considering how many people are milling around on earth.

          No disrespect to Jesus, the man. Maybe crucified today some years ago. So were, and are many of us. In the name of our discoveries, inventiones, music, literature, art, whatever. Your fellow man will hang you. Your friend mentions ‘hope’. Hope is what sustains any of us. Without it we’d just step off the cliff. But hope is only one of many facets of our faculties, and not exclusive of, say, cynicism or bitterness. Only our CRITICAl facilities will lend our hope a hand, let it dangle from a height. Keeping us alive.

          I have a dim view of what religion [via the financially viable, inciting hatred, institution of “Church”] promises, exploiting fear. A child will bore all those questions into you, the parent. So unless you just hand them a rosary and send them to confession – neither of which Protestants do – they will ask you questions. I still pity my father. Not that he shirked my relentlessly pursuing him on questions god (I must have been about nine or ten at the time). Neither did I shirk (only shudder) years later when my own son came home – so tiny – exhausted by RE at school. He DID NOT buy it. End of story. Had a hard time to convince him that Jesus Christ still deserves the respect any philosopher does. Son of the elusive or not.


          PS Will write more on the subject. Do you realise that even on those tick the box questionnaires they will discuss your ‘dis’belief in TERMS of religion? What do you know: You don’t believe, so you have to tick “Atheist”. A? What? I am not an atheist. I just don’t believe in god! For god’s sake.

          Comment by bitchontheblog — April 22, 2011 @ 20:09 | Reply

  2. Here’s the link to the poem:

    No, I’ve never read that fairy tale.

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — April 22, 2011 @ 06:43 | Reply

  3. I noticed the same phenomenon with my youngest sister whilst she was still in the pram. She would cover her eyes with her hands and say , “Du tant thee me.”
    Later, in psychology lectures at Teacher training College, this was mentioned as a particular stage in infant development. I hope that Paiget didn’t have anything to say about this. Perhaps it fits a bit beyond his observation that when an object is removed from their sight a baby acts as though it does not exist.

    You know, I never found Piaget at all useful in my teaching career. In fact this is the first time I have thought of his theories of development,that i can recall, since I was at College!
    I wonder which stage I’m stuck at!

    Comment by Magpie 11 — April 22, 2011 @ 11:27 | Reply

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