Skulls are “IN” this year
I know it's been going on for decades and maybe I'm just taking note of it now, but aside from the fact that Halloween just passed, I have been noticing even before the famed holiday, that all year round, while doing my daily routines whether window shopping, surfing the internet, observing people or just walking down the street, that I will eventually bump into an image of a HUMAN SKULL.
The skull has been depicted in art for centuries, but in the past few years they seems to be everywhere. I can be talking to someone and suddenly notice that the girl I am talking to is wearing tiny earrings shaped like skulls. Or a tchotchke of a ceramic bejeweled skull in a store window. Or someone wearing a skull pattern on their clothes like a shirt, bandana or belt. When did the human skull, the symbol of Death and a reminder of our mortality, become fashionable and cool?
I do remember when I was maybe 5 years old, seeing on TV the old Vincent Price movie, “House on Haunted Hill” which included a human skeleton rising from a vat of acid. I was frightened and fascinated at the same time.
Later on as a teen I only saw the image of the skull in Science class or a bottle of chemicals, photos in magazines articles about tattoos or the Hell’s Angels and of course heavy metal rock band album covers.
There was an issue of National Geographic magazine with a photo of a Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican crystal quartz skull and I wondered why an ancient civilization made such a beautiful piece of art out of something so macabre.
Whenever I see a photograph of a human skull I always look at the features, imagining how the eye balls fit into the sockets, how the cartilage drapes over the nose, how the lips cover the row of teeth and how almost unnoticeable the tiny ear holes are on the sides of the head.
I also wonder who this person was whose head I am looking at. Did this person know while alive, that one-day thousands of people would be staring at a picture of his or her skinless face? Eeek, it gives me the shivers.
What the skull really invokes is our mortality and eventual Death, i.e., The Grim Reaper.
I see skulls everywhere I go. Our culture is fascinated with Death.
In the past, skulls were associated with the witches, devil worshipers, rock musicians and horror movies, but today fashion aficionados, graphic designer and artists, make clothing, jewelry, images and objets d'art with designs of skulls, (albeit beautifully decorated skulls with colors, flowers and gems) showing us how cool, beautiful and glamorous the skull is.
Umm...when did death suddenly become so hip?
Well the Fad of Death hasn’t let up.
We are bombarded daily with bad news of war, terrorists, fighting, death, abuse, misery, suffering and pain and how can it NOT dim our hope for a good life here? The rise of diseases and epidemics (AIDS, Cancer, Ebola) as well as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and tsunamis has confronted us with the fact that our mortality is nigh.
Death is knocking on our door.
And to top it off, we entertain ourselves with stories of violence, tragedies, destruction, murder and mayhem to stay in the Death Mode. Why are we so fascinated by gore, horror and death? Whether serial killers, zombies, ghosts or demons, they are all big sellers. Media puts it out there because it is us who can’t seem to get enough and buy into it. Merchants cashing in on our fascination with death are racking in the dough.
Sex sells, but so does Death.
We must be one unhappy bunch of people.
People get tattoos with skulls and devils because they say it’s cool. But cool? Really? It speaks more about our pessimism that after our hard life here on earth, we will all die a miserable death resulting in a cold grave. The End.
People can no longer see good news, happiness, peace and love in their lives. I guess people have lost hope and don't believe in it anymore. Good news is just so rare. We are a society of hardened hearts because of the abrasiveness of our harsh world.
And because of this we don’t feel so happy and don’t want to be around happy people. Dark glasses cover our eyes as we trudge through our muddy, thorn-filled lives with only death awaiting us. So of course we are comfortable wearing a T-shirt with a Skull announcing to the world, “I’m waiting to die.”
Death fascinates us because we know it's coming. We fear it, yet we want to see more of it, maybe as a way to prepare ourselves. Like driving by an accident on the highway, we can’t turn our eyes away from it and image what it would be like if it was us in the car.
Embracing Death also means, our hearts are mourning. We are mourning this life and our own death. So we live in darkness. We embrace darkness because goodness, purity and innocence is associated with naiveté, as if being innocent means we will be a victim of a rude awakening. So we would rather be ready. Embracing our mortality will somehow prepare us in this fight for our lives.
Is this how we feel about Life?
Well, not only is the image of the skull synonymous with the death but it is also associated with the Devil. It is a reminder that the Devil is after us and will destroy us.
The Skull = Death = the Devil.
And the Devil has his own associations: Devil=Death=Evil=Darkness=Fear=Chaos=Despair=Sadness=Hell...well you get the idea.
Perhaps people just don’t know God.
You see, God comes with His own associations:
God=Life=Goodness=Light=Love=Peace=Hope=Joy=Heaven...the reverse of everything the Devil has to offer.
You see God is about Life and God made a promise to those who follow His path of Life that they will live forever.
Many see the Skull as a symbol of our Death, but who says Death is the End? With God, after death...comes MORE Life!
You see if you know Jesus Christ, then death is not the end. There is a beautiful life after this death. Yes, it does get better!
Knowing God is embracing Life and embracing His Hope that despite our struggle, despite this pain-filled life...there is LIFE after Death that is free of pain and filled with LOVE.
All because Jesus made it possible when He came and defeated death.
Our life is not hopeless. Our life has a purpose. We have Jesus.
God’s message of Hope is that Death is not the end of it. You see Jesus died in our place so we could live, but something else happened. He rose from the dead, showing us, that death is NOT the end. He lives and now He wants to give us Life too.
Why? Because He loves us.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
“Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
1 Corinthians 15:54b-56.
© 2014 Edrick
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