The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines being morbid as “an attitude, quality, or state of mind marked by excessive gloom”.
It’s beyond doubt that most of us have, into different degrees, some fascination for some morbid aspects of our existence. I know people who’re fascinated by cemeteries, all the way up to people who’re dedicating their life to become a celebration of death.
My own interest into the morbid state of mind started during my teenage with the Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque by E A Poe, followed by Bram Stoker’s Dracula and many others. Next I got into the graphic works of Giger and followed that up by looking with some astonishment to the different subcultures that placed those works at the core of their existence;
The Emos, generally associated with youth who are dispirited and angry with society, other people, or themselves.
The Goths; who include some beliefs from the Wicca culture, satanism and vampirism.
Just to name the two that come to my mind. I’m sure that knowledgeable readers can add more of them to this list.
When you make of a fascination with death and destruction to the core of your mental universe, the grave becomes the ultimate goal of your existence. On the other hand, those who’re ignoring their mortality, deny themselves the right to age in a gracious way. No one can live fully until they have accepted into their hearts their mortality. Death is a celebration of life and not the other way around.
Over time I’ve learned that a fascination with the morbid is an inherent part of the human psyche, but most people deal with it in a more playful way. Who hasn’t been watching and enjoying an episode of the Adam’s Family where the morbid has been presented in a humorist and entertaining way?
Here in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain), we’re celebrating tonight the “Burial of the Sardine”. The vibrant Carnival colors have all faded away into shades of black. Black dresses, black fish nets, black boas, black veils. Tonight symbolizes the end of Carnival and the death of our overindulgence, and we’re all dressed as widows mourning the procession of a giant papier-mâché sardine. After the long and irreverent procession, the mourners gather on the sands of Las Canteras beach, where the giant sardine is set afloat on the Atlantic, bobbing away into the horizon. Small fishing boats follow alongside and BOOM! The sardine is set alight with the crack and boom of fireworks in a spectacle that symbolizes the conclusion of Carnival.