It was Paris when it hit me, underneath the city streets, in the depths of the Catacombs. Five stories underground in the entanglement of 200 miles of dirt paths walked swiftly past bone after bone… body after body… there was a tangible feeling in the air that had a tendency to wrap it's arms around you so tight you could hardly breathe. I could feel goose bumps coloring themselves across my skin. Sometimes I think that my bones shook as I trembled in that moment... if only to remind me that I was still alive. With each step my mind expanded and my heart became heavier. I could not help but wonder, “Who were these people? What were their stories? Did they ever fall in love? Did they carry regret to these depths with them? What were their names? Men? Women? Children? Did they die happy? Or did they die alone?” It's not a coincidence that when you feel most alive is when you are most aware of the inevitability of death.
I became obsessed. Not with the act of dying in itself, but with what the simple existence of death moved me to do. Time, the clenched fist of the universe, the essence of honesty.
I knew I wasn't supposed to or allowed to but I couldn't help but run my fingers across a few of them. I wanted to know they were real. Every pile of bones had a story. And I felt as I if I were drowning in their pages. The thing about bones is that they are apart of us all… every single one of us. No matter your gender, your race, or what color shines from your skin. It does not matter what god you believe in, or if you believe in a god at all. For bones do not care how much is in your pocket. They do not care about the clothes on your back. They don't ask about your political affiliation. About who you surround yourself with. About your hopes and dreams. Bones are not a trend. They do not exist because of technology. Bones have always and will always continue to hold you unconditionally. No matter what those hopes, dreams, and affiliations are. Without question. Without a doubt. They are there in your good times, in your bad times, and every second in between. For even when you lose your mind, you know where they can be found. When you are young, they are what kept you together and when you are old they are what slow you down. You see, they don't know the difference between darkness and light, as they live in a world where they may never be exposed to them. Yet they remain faithful warriors. Soldiers. Defenders of the heart. Protectors of the mind. They hold both you, and I, together. They are part of what makes us all the same. An intricate assembly molded by a power greater than all of us. When our flesh turns to earth, and our eyes close for the final time, our bones survive. They tell our stories and speak our words. They are proof that we once lived and stood tall. That we loved. That we lost. And now, as I run out of days I believe that it is time I sing again… for these bones have a story to tell.