5/21 Reset

5/21 "Reset" (album: Reset to Factory Specs) began with one of the central themes of my life: death. 

Listen & lyrics here

When I was 13 mos old, my mother's only sibling died at the age of 20. My early years were coloured by the grief and shock of everyone around me. 

As a child I became fascinated by death and the dead. How we thought of them, how we communicated with them, the ways in which we kept them alive for ourselves, and the people I could see that no one else did. 

I remember being a small child and talking to dead people. You can take that with a grain of salt, but it's what my childhood was like. I didn't treat them any differently than the living. I talked to them, they sat on my bed while I drew, they were a part of my existence. 

I've thought a lot about death. What it means, what it's like, what it's for. When I watched the show Bones for the first time, I was reminded of my love for forensic anthropology, something that had kindled at age 14 when I read "The Life and Death of a Druid Prince" by Anne Ross and Don Robins - which was my first introduction to the subject. 

That book sent me toward Celtic Studies. Trying to figure out death sent me toward philosophy and spirituality. But when the lab in Bones introduced dermestid beetles and their crucial role in cleaning bones for examination, I had an epiphany. 

The idea that the story of our lives is written in our bones. Every spur, thickness, fossa, repair, fissure, telling our life stories for anyone who's learned to read the language. 

The character of Bones herself is coded autistic, and I identified with her strongly. She was accused multiple times of being unfeeling because she didn't show emotion while she worked. 

But in one scene she walks around a skeleton with tears in her eyes and starts to tell her story. She knows what kind of person the girl was because she can read her bones, and she sets her emotion aside so that she can do her work to solve her murder with honour and respect. 

I have wondered ever since what story my bones will tell when I'm gone. Do you?


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