That's Not My Friend Anymore
Standing over a friend’s casket triggers an internal struggle about consciousness and the soul.
You're listening to seven minute stories with Aaron Calafato. This episode: That's not my friend anymore.
AARON CALAFATO - STORY
A colleague of mine had just passed away and he had been fighting for a really long time, like 20 something years and he finally his body gave way.
And he passed and I was at his funeral.
And the hardest part for me is always, first seeing the family and seeing the memories and seeing all the people that he or she affected, whenever I've gone, as I've gotten older and you know going more and more of these.And it's seeing that. But the weirdest part is always walking up to the casket. And it used to be for different reasons. I remember when I was younger I was just scared because I didn't want to see them and I wasn't sure what that was like. They weren't there. Now I'm not even scared anymore. I'm not scared. It just feels awkward because, not just with my friend and in this moment I was looking at him but anytime I've walked up to that casket and looked down I'm looking at them and I'm saying to myself...that's not you.
It looks like you physically, but there's an absence. And obviously, yeah they they're dead, but it's not just that it's literally in an extraction of the life. The thing that came through that person and it's almost like, it's weird it's, what is left behind seems empty. When I'm looking at it seems empty. For me that's where the loss comes from, not the fact that they're not opening their eyes is that something is gone, completely gone, and it's that realization of like where did they go? and then there's this other part of me that that relies on the physical. The physical manifestation of who they were like what they looked like how how my friend smiled how he stood a particular way, the little the gestures that he makes and the gestures that you know what I'm talking about, someone that you care about, bet your thinking right now, just someone that you know, even the ones that are alive, you just when you think of them if you really think about it in your brain it'll it'll start going through its files and your brain liked it and it just pulls up a picture usually pulls up a picture, sometimes a feeling, but sometimes a picture. But for me the physical part of who we are is really just a road sign to what we are before the body. Before we're manifest
So this is getting really fuckin metaphysical. Let me just break this down to me and I'm a scientist. I'm just to do telling stories. But for me when I observe people it's kind of like the body and how it creates gestures is a product of its environment and a product of ingenuity in wanting to be something or to physically be something. The way a person walks the way a person smiles, the way a person....It seems like it's a mixture of all these things, it's like a mixture of mimicry from when you're a kid looking at the faces around you. It's a mixture of your own impulses experimenting and then it's a mixture of the environment that you came from
How is your environment? If it's loving and inclusive and open you tend to see these bodies be much more open and loving and inclusive physically they're gesturing is that way. When you come from an environment that's harsh that's intense that's oppressive.
Your body will look that way. I'm not talking with the physical nature that just the standstill pigment of how people look. We're not talking about skin. We're not talking about even bones. I'm talking about, almost like being an artist, the way their body moves that's always been fascinating to me.
And where does that come from?
Where does it come from it's so weird. To me, the only thing there's a lot of different analogies but when I'm thinking about it it's kind of like being a painter and having a canvas and having paints and you know you want to make a splatter of paint with a particular color on the canvas, but you got to visualize it first. So, it has to not be the thing first, before it becomes the thing. So you have to visualize: I'm going to do this and that's to me almost like consciousness ...like the first part of the explosion of experimentation of consciousness.
I gonna try this. Where does that come from? I don't know.. But I know that before the brush stroke or the splatters on the paint canvas becomes something, it's like you've got to think about it first, what it is came from something that is not physical it's metaphysical. It's something that's just in your consciousness. You think of it, and it might take its form and its shape, but it's expressing itself out of something that wasn't there. It's fucking insane! I'm like recording, this is insane! You have to understand as I'm talking to you but there's no one in front of me and I'm just going on and ruminating about all of this stuff...and it all comes back to these thoughts that come from standing in front of my friend when he's lying in his coffin and realizing that's not my friend anymore... Almost like this funeral... that something has to be destroyed before it's created.
And and it's almost like this cycle: birth life death. Birth life death. Birth life death. Birth life death. The seasons.. The solar system round and round and round and round and round.. expanding and everything around us the physics, everything seems to cycle in and out. Galaxies collide. Galaxies are destroyed. Stars are born. Stars die. And it's why not with us?...why not with us?
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