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Contagious Death

He was laying on the sofa, with a suffering expression on the face, his chest rising and falling with irregular moves. I was sitting by his feet, hiding my nervousness with a poker face that doesn't fool him anyway. The ambulance was on its way, so everything should be fine, right? Children were playing in their room. We sent them away from the scary situation, that they encountered too many times already.

My husband is a heart patient and has been through hell  because of his disease. And so were we, scared observers of his battle. It's his body, his life, his traumas. And yet it affect us too, in very profound ways. The threatening presence of death forced us to accept that it is not just an abstract idea, something that only happens to other people, but a real fact that will sooner or later occurre to every single one of us.

This time around though, I got struck hard, realizing fully, how terrible it would be for our children to loose their father. Their strong, loving teacher and protector, that keeps their world safe and sound. For a moment there, I saw them as orphants - completely woulnerable and exposed to the mercy of people, who could never love them as much as we, their parents do. It struck me that this is real, it's happening all the time, everywhere.

I just had an overwhelming feeling of sadness and fear, when I started painting this piece. As the painting progressed, I recognized what kind of story really stands behind those feelings. It was hard to face the cruel facts of our situation and deal with the loss of illusion, that if you are a good person, good stuff will happen to you. A bird nest seemed like an appropriate motive for what I wanted to express. If a mother bird dies, so do the little ones. No other bird will sit on her eggs or feed the hungry chicks. They will die, and the other birds will only take care of their own.

Nature just doesn't care about our feelings, does she? She doesn't know right from wrong in our human fair - unfair kind of way. She plays by her cruel laws and we are at her mercy.

Luckily, people possess certain divinity in a form of compassion, love and deeply rooted need to distinguish between right and wrong. As humans, we have the potential to override the cruelty of nature to some degree. Let's take advantage of this potential!

Spela B Semrov

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