1 characterized by or appealing to an abnormal and unhealthy interest in disturbing and unpleasant subjects, esp. death and disease : he had long held a morbid fascination with the horrors of contemporary warfare.
If I’m honest with myself I would find lurking morbidity waiting to exhale inside my containing psyche. Although, due to my vigilant needs to remain socially normal, I cut out all the disturbing thoughts and place them onto a flannel felt board to then trivialize all of the content–kind of like Sunday school. Heaven forbid I ever stray far from the line that is straight and narrow…and normal.
I remember my one friend from Columbia who was a performance artist (non-theatrical) and had pieces that dealt with domesticity, body image, and rage against the machine. Through sewing her eyelids shut to standing naked, smoking and then putting out the cigarettes by using her body, she collectively communicated her utter frustration with the very word “normal”. She would explain to me her subtle hatred for the connoted word due to its oppressive and absurd weaponry within certain contexts. Thus she embarked on being, well morbid. I struggled with her pieces at times, but overall I admired her ambition in working out her internal wars that had been frequently quieted. Art school was like therapy for a lot of us, a lot of the time. However I don’t think I was as honest as I could have been with my morbid inner-workings, thus the post.
The inclination to make everything meaning filled or to impregnate every plot with spirituality, Jesus, will, sin, sovereignty, God’s must-see Goodness etc etc gives me IBS. Who am I fooling though, I give God and “the people” IBS with my inclinations and penetrations of answers and rationale. Either way I am attempting to expose these mannerisms for their worth and sheaths from madness that is seemingly too much to bear. Too much to bear normally and before a culture that thrives on normalcy. I wonder if that is why the film Burn After Reading received poor reviews. It exposed the silliness of where we place emphasis in life as well as how stories sometimes end in complete absurdity and morbidity. Who enjoys an ending that reveals only more foolery than a conjuring of some fleeting trite commentary on humanity and God?
Returning to my morbidity: It is waiting to exhale. Ironically through death and the rituals that attain it. Funerals with the open caskets, black attire, unearthed ground, strange words, and (if you’re a Christian) expressions of (many times) inflated hope and remembrance. Cemeteries, though, call on me and I often find myself in a profusion of graves. Morbid? Well, there is this one Jewish cemetery in Queen Anne, in which I have had sweet moments in. When I was trying to write my Harry paper for the Faith Hope and Love class I traipsed through the grass, weeping over the various names that have come and gone and how I am still trapped here in this reality, struggling feebly to make sense of my internal wars. Yet, I found equanimity amongst the unpromised and absent denouement that I longed to roll around in, quite possibly on top of the graves. Morbid? Somewhat comical, I must insist…flirting with denouement upon ‘finished time’ for those surrounding me as I seek to find meaning in time–possibly humorous for the deceased at least.
When my grandpa passed away I was strangely asked to document the funeral and I found it to be eerily enjoyable. The photos are just a few of a day that held morbidity yet a morbidity that I hope doesn’t require any of us to bury ourselves in defeat, but to face the mysterious, unanswerable, loose ended death instead…