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redemption

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Vultures...

In High School I fell in love with the works of Edgar Allen Poe. I realize that's not particularly unique as many high schoolers identify with his sort of reality. Somewhere in me that same sort of intrigue exists. The vultures are testament to Poe's influence on me. To look at things that are dark and relay them to the world. And the hope that is within that is not to shock people, but to engage people and challenge culture.

I was writing a Poe-esque fiction to follow along my vulture theme and to co-habit a space with this image above. Like Poe I wanted to create a space that drew the audience out of the words and into the story. To feel the talons of the bird, and smell the stench dripping from the end of its face. Unlike Poe I have a tendency to be contrived and reaching. Poe had an ability to over embellish and yet simply tell his story.

Vultures are shadows in the sky. Searching for the dead. Coveting the diseased.

Vultures are death-eaters and life-bringers.

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Cathartidae...

Think about the the thoughts that are associated with the imagery and name of vultures.  

Are they majestic?

Are they noble?

Are they beautiful?

It is common to view vultures with contempt. They are symbols of death. How could they not be with their writhing, red, balding heads. The sunken eyes are the vision of their teetering between the living and dead. When there is a vulture over-head then death is near-by. What high praise can be given to a bird that seeks out death?

John Mayer expresses this view plainly in his characterization of vultures in the aptly titled track 'Vultures.'

All of these vultures hiding Right outside my door I hear them whisperin They're tryin to ride it out Cause they've never gone this long Without a kill before

 

I might just go ahead and posit another thought here. Perhaps the nature of vultures is not about death, but about life?

It is about more than the vital role that they play in the environment. Vultures represent a specific moment in the transitional times of life. Their lives transcend the simple but lead us to the sublime. In certain cultures the vulture is revered. It is called a death-eater, a cleanser, a purifier. Imagine the beauty of life. Imagine a life being lived and filled with the joy of existence. When that joy has turned then death enters. Note that this is not when the vulture enters. Death takes what it wants and leaves nothing but a token of what once had lived. In the midst of the tragedy of death comes the vulture to eat what death has left behind. In this death the vulture finds life. The vulture redeems the act of death to an act of life.

 

The vulture's life is all about redemption!

 

The vulture's life is about renewal!

 

Ponder that idea. Wrestle with a new understanding.

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