Because I have a mind that resembles a rebus depiction of a circus, I want to expound on the commonality between music and death. Look at that, the Death card isn’t even present and accounted for. Thanatos didn’t even show up for his senior picture for the yearbook in this week’s post.
I speak to this concept as a musician, though not as one who is dead. I write music, songs as it were. I look at my audial creations as being on loan from the Muse. I get to borrow them as I’m cobbling them together, but once they are complete I have to let them go, release them to the world like a dole of doves that just came into a bit of luck during a wedding ceremony, or each spider I insist on tossing across the threshold to the great outdoors as opposed to meeting its maker under a shoe sole or a rolled up Vanity Fair or in the vortex of the toilet grave. But since we’re speaking of death…
In a way, that song I wrote dies once it has been written. It no longer serves me in such exclusivity as it did during its creation. I no more own it than anyone else who hears it at that point, much to the contrary of James Hetfield’s philosophy. This is no different to when a creature dies. The creature had exclusive use of the body while it was alive, but when it gives up the ectoplasm and falls into decay, as human turns to humus, the breakdown of what was the vehicle of identity focus now gets called dibs on by a myriad of bacteria, insects, and other delightful connoisseurs of carrion.
Alright, let me perform last rites on the above analogy. Much like the written song and the surrendered body, all our endeavors, once they reach completion, no longer belong to us. This is true for what we may be building, the project we are vested in at our places of work, the children we bear, anything that is of our creation. Once the creation process ends, so does our ownership of the creation. Or it should.
The idea of all that we create being for ourselves really does not serve us, though we may believe it does. If we are holding onto our creation too tightly, then we would do well to find a way to sever it from the clutches of our ownership. I don’t mean in a take it to Judge Judy and let her rule on it sort of way, I mean in a true appreciation sort of way. So you made that beautiful bench out of the stern of a Colonial galleon, gold leaf, and the teeth of a crocodile; if you are the only one to sit upon that bench, then what good is it?
Our creations are our gifts to the world. They are ours while we are shaping and forming them, as that’s when we inject who we are into them. Once the finishing touches have been applied it is time to let them go. A gift of our creation to ourselves is not really a gift. It only acquires value once we relinquish ownership of it and surrender it to the world at large.