“Compassion has no place in the natural order of the world, which operates on the basis of necessity. The laws of necessity are as unexceptional as the laws of gravitation. The human faculty of compassion opposes this order and is therefore best thought of as being in some way supernatural. To forget oneself, however briefly, to identify with a stranger to the point of fully recognizing her or him, is to defy necessity, and in this defiance, even if small and quiet and even if measuring only 60cm. x 50cm., there is a power that cannot be measured by the limits of the natural order. It is not a means and it has no end. The Ancients knew this.” – John Berger, “A Man with Tousled Hair,” from The Shape of a Pocket
Autumn is the dying season. This morning when I came home from a walk, he was lying there on his back. He was dead.
Yet an autumn day like today in the mountains is so beautiful that everything vibrates with life. The air chimes. The clouds tango across the blue dance floor above. The leaves sway to some celestial tune. And the lake laps in synchronicity to singing hearts.
My heart was singing before I found him. His blueness and his beauty startled me. I touched him in the hope that he would move, but he stayed still, on his back with his eyes open. A still life. A life stilled. Only one of millions of fallen birds, yet I felt an immense sadness at the sight of him, as if he were waiting there to tell me something. I wanted so badly to resurrect him, for he seemed so alive in death. I felt myself returning to the blues I felt before my walk.
Vincent Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo these words:
I feel more and more that we must not judge God on the basis of this world; it’s a study that didn’t come off. What can you do, in a study that has gone wrong, if you are fond of the artist? You do not find much to criticize; you hold your tongue. But you have a right to ask for something better.