I’ve been thinking more about my reaction to the dissection this morning. I felt tired for the rest of the day, sometimes feeling quite withdrawn, and sometimes feeling more like myself. Once I got home, I gave in to the lethargy, possibly some self pity, and the general ‘traumatization’ as my roommate put it.
I did not have such a reaction to the dissections from last semester. In fact, I was quite rude to the squid that I cut up. F teased me about it, and I responded with, what’s the matter, it’s already dead? But the beings we dissected last semester where all alien to me. I have never seen one living. Especially the horseshore crabs. They look like creatures from a science fiction film.
But yet I am upset at today’s behaviour because of death. I have clued in to the reason why – the cats are the first real dead being I have been forced to acknowledge, and even examine. Even when Trix passed away on New Year’s Day, I only looked at him long enough to tell he was dead and to put him in a bag for burial. I felt as though it would be wrong to look at him in detail. Like it would be disrespectful for others to know I was curious about his being dead. Perhaps the giddiness and high energy of today is just the others’ way of handling their curiousity – by joking and making light.
Trix’s death was tidy, and put away quickly (although I have not yet buried him, since it the ground is frozen). Being confronted with the stiff, wet, preserved, smelly bodies of the cats in class forces me to look at my feelings around death. I would be further traumatized if I had to look at my cats in that way – empty of life, static. I am uncomfortable with Death. Not for the sake of those who die, but instead my own sake. (After all, we are all selfish beings – the world revolves around our own egocentric view.) I would bemoan the loss of those who die, for how they make me feel. For the comfort of their presence in my life. If that presence is removed, I would be sad.
And I am not always certain what to do with my sadness. My emotions are confusing to me, buried deeply in my ‘psyche’ or what ever I should call it. I am getting better at understanding and acknowledging my emotions and how they effect me daily. I think that is partly why I did not fight my reaction today, but let it have control, let it happen, and dare I say, even embellished it a little. For someone who dreams less in words, and more in feelings, you would think I would have a better grasp on my daytime processes. Nope.
We began our dissection of the cat in vertebrate zoology today. It made me question what we do in the name of science, the pursuit of knowledge. If our society valued other beings more, would we still perform such dissections so routinely?
For one girl in my class, it is her third time. She is not bothered by it at all, despite having her own cats as pets. Thankfully she is also the one doing the actual dissection. But why do we assume it is okay to do such things? Just because the animal is dead? Does the body have no meaning/value after death? Is it related to how we view death as well? That in a mainstream, Christian dominated society, what’s left behind on earth after the soul gets to heaven doesn’t matter anymore?
If our society were different, would we still work on real animals, or would we have developed some sort of plastic anatomy models we could look at and learn from?
Yes, technically, learning about mammalian anatomy is interesting. But must we learn in such a casual and empty way? It seems as though there is a void of compassion, or a lack of respect for what the form used to be, if that makes sense. Since the animal is dead, shouldn’t it’s body be free to return to the Dark Mother, to be decomposed and recycled, as all energy is recycled in the universe?
It felt pretty horrible to watch people trim and cut, and some classmates took photos with their cell phones. Why you would want a picture of a preserved cat on your cell phone is beyond me. One boy was going to show it to his girlfriend, since it looked like her cat. If it were me, I don’t know if he would still be my boyfriend after that. The smell was terrible. Not only the preservative (they use formalin now, since formaldehyde is carcinogenic), but also the disinfectant spray that we have to clean the tables with. I hate Cavicide. It’s a horrible distasteful spray that smells and gets stuck at the back of the throat. But we have to use it in all the labs. Ick.
I am very grateful that I am choosing to work with soils, plants, and other forms of life. I could not be a veterinarian, or even a park warden. Of course, now that I am writing this, I remember killing bacteria earlier in the weak. Why is it okay for me to heat fix microbes, but I can’t dissect a cat? Talk about the value of Life in all its levels of magnitude. Perhaps that is a post for another day.
I inherited a fish tank from a friend today, as she is moving away for a year. I have put it in my bedroom, so that I can enjoy watching them swim about. I think this can be a way to start a meditation practice. I can start by just watching them, and then begin to empty my mind and open to my God Self.
I've been thinking about my blog during various points in the day. I
am exciting about it, planning all sorts of posts. Lady knows whether
I'll get to them or not!
The other things running through my mind are wonders of biology.
Studying at school makes me realize how much mystery there really is
in this Age of Information.
You are all invited to participate in the third annual poetry reading in cyberspace in honor of Brigid. Last year there was so much I couldn’t track it all, there really was a mighty web of poetry that spun out. So, if you have a blog or livejournal, please participate, and if you don’t, well, simply enjoy it. Go to my blog or someone else’s who is participating and just follow the comments and the links and see what wonders await you. Here’s the skinny:
Feel free to copy the following to your blog and spread the word. Let poetry bless the blogosphere once again!
Invitation to the Third Annual Brigid Poetry Reading in Cyberspace
WHAT: A Bloggers (Silent) Poetry Reading
WHEN: Anytime February 2, 2008
WHERE: Your blog
WHY: To celebrate the Feast of Brigid, aka Groundhog Day
HOW: Select a poem you like – by a favorite poet or one of your own – to post February 2nd.
RSVP: If you plan to publish, feel free to leave a comment and link to my blog: branchesup.blogspot.com Last year when the call went out there was more poetry in cyberspace than I could keep track of. So, link to whoever you hear about this from and a mighty web of poetry will be spun.
Feel free to pass this invitation on to any and all bloggers.
“We say, “Seeing is believing,” but actually… we are all much better at believing than seeing. In fact, we are seeing what we believe nearly all the time and only occasionally seeing what we can’t believe.” Robert Anton Wilson
Testing, Testing, 1-2-3
I am hoping that by creating this blog, I will journey into Spirit more often, and express it through writing. I love to read about witchcraft, and deity, but I need to do more than read. Describing it seems like a good start.
I like Brighid – I had a great journey with Her 3 years ago at my first Reclaiming ritual. I keep saying to myself that I will work with Her more closely, but it doesn’t seem to happen. Trying to do so now in the middle of a technical education doesn’t seem like the wisest plan, but I’ll give it a go. I want to spent time with Her, and will take a hint from the flamekeepers at Ord Brighideach, and try to tend Her flame at least once every 20 days.
I’ve also been able to take both the Iron and Pearl Pentacle classes, and would like to run the pentacle energy once a day.
There, I’ve set some goals. They seem doable. I’ll let you know how that goes. 🙂