Not all equal

Joy ride. Gaza City, November 2012. (Google Images)

All deaths are not equal.  There is tragedy, there is sadness… and there is nausea.

We buried a mother and grandmother last weekend in the cold and windy Canadian winter.  Loved ones, over the hill, threw soil on the coffin.  It landed heavily on our hearts, in loud “tugs” reverberating on the dark wooden lid and then later muffled inexorably by the wind and the ground itself, shovel after shovel, all so slow and fast.  “Thud” after “thud.”  So real.  So present.  So inescapable.  Like death itself.

We have had our fair share of deaths in the family.  Everyone does.  The wounds are still raw, the pain palpable.  For the close ones, for the loved one, the pain is infinite.  “They live within us”, loved ones say, philosophically.  Within us, memories, images, laughter and pain, all mixed together in this indefinable mingle of feelings, of joy and sadness.

As we move along the ladder of Time, we all start looking in her eyes with greater acuity for her “raison d’être.”  Lady Death; I understand, without empathy, paradoxically, your final absurdity, and ultimately, as Life’s companion, your talent at making it all possible – perhaps even bearable.

“La mort des pauvres.”  Has anyone ever written more truly about her than Baudelaire? (Les Fleurs du Mal)

Later, over Friday night dinner, we spoke of the difficulty and tragedy of life.  We spoke of Life and Death and “finitude”.  We spoke of the haunting images of Palestinian civilians being pulled in what appeared very much like a joy ride downtown Gaza city a few days earlier.

As in 2009 during the “Cast lead” operation, Hamas strongmen took the opportunity of the public opinion scolding of Israel, to execute a couple of political opponents.  They called them spies.  They called them Zionist sympathizers.  No one knew who they were, and no one ever will.

They were brothers.  They were fathers and grandfathers.  They were face down on the road.  Terrified.  Shot methodically with all due process.  They were not surrounded by loved ones over the hill.

Ultimately, all will die.  The victims and the executioners.  They always do.  We all do.  In peace or in horror.  Why so much hatred, then?  “A quoi bon?”

All deaths are tragedies.  We hear the cries.  Yet, from extreme absurdity, extreme injustice or extreme repulsion, all are not equal.  Some, abhorrent and nauseating, remain strangely shrouded with telling silence and indifference.

Not all equal, clearly.

About Michel Botman

Michel Botman was born in Belgium, where visual arts have always flirted with the limits of reality. In the eighties, Michel Botman started exploring the first tools to manipulate images though computers. For about 15 years, Michel Botman worked throughout Europe in the emerging field of Computer Applications for the Graphic Arts. Extensive experience in Digital Imaging allowed Michel to move into the field of computerized systems for Diagnostic Imaging. As VP Sales & Marketing for eSys Medical and later with Eclipsys, Michel Botman always remained dedicated to the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of his career. At the present time, Michel Botman is refocusing his life towards graphic arts. “I studied photography in Europe, but never had time to practice it enough. Life took me on other paths towards computer technologies and running a business. I enjoyed it very much, but I also love art. I always keep my eyes open for exciting opportunities and people that touch my heart.” Michel Botman currently lives between Toronto, Canada and Bangkok, Thailand. Above Gravatar pictures are of Michel Botman and his son Noah Botman.
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2 Responses to Not all equal

  1. return man 2 says:

    I know my viewers would enjoy your work. If youre even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.
    return man 2

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