Toilets & Coffins - Disrupting the Natural World

So, in Ancient Greece they had toilets and sewers but in 1940s America they shit in holes in the ground? The outhouse that my grandpa used to shit in when he was a child is still standing today on the family farm. I’ve shat in it dozens, maybe hundreds of times. Four generations have shat in that outhouse. That’s a crazy fact. It’s a small, maybe 5’x5’ shack and inside it you will find a bench with two ass-sized holes. You shit in one side until it gets all filled up, at which point you switch to the other side and fill that side up. By the time you get second side filled up, the first side has decomposed enough that it’s back down again. And thus the process starts over. 

We should probably all be shitting in holes in the ground. I certainly can’t wait to get to a point where my family is living a simpler, more natural life. I don’t know if we’ll take it to literal shit-hole levels, but why the fuck not?! I think our culture, our society has deviated too far away from the processes of the natural world - all the way down to where we put our shit. And even where we put our dead people. 

I can only imagine we’ve been burying our dead, or at least keeping them all in one place, for as long as we’ve been conscious. But as the practices have evolved and changed over time, they have slowly distorted into something completely unrecognizable and un-fucking-natural. What is the Natural life-cycle? Conception, birth, life, death, decomposition - back into the earth and become fuel for new types of life to grow and flourish, right? But what are we doing now? We’re pumping our dead people full of these extreme preservatives, then sealing them in airtight containers, and only then are we putting them in the fucking ground. How fucking natural is that? I’m no scientist, but I would think that can’t be doing any good for the natural world. But we do it, we keep doing it. Because that’s how it’s always been done. We do things “because that’s how we’ve always done it,” not realizing that... well, actually... yeah, kind of... but really it used to be a lot different and has slowly changed over a long period of time, creating an illusion that it’s always been done in this same way. Then there’s the people who choose not to be handled “traditionally” when they die. What do they say? “I wanna get cremated. I want to be burnt into ashes and then placed on top of my kid’s fireplace.” Okay, that’s not all that helpful either. 

I’d actually like to spearhead a movement of people. The “Natural Death Movement” or some shit. Call it whatever you want. I’d like to start a cemetery - and hopefully start a trend of others doing the same - where you bring your dead and we do zero preservatives and you can choose between a very simple, untreated coffin, or no coffin at all and simply put in the ground. The funeral will double as a celebration of our passed loved one returning to the earth and not just the end of their life but of a knowing that their life-force will enter into the new vegetation growing atop. Maybe we could even plant a tree or some sort of perennial plant on top of each dead person. That could be a whole aspect of the services offered. The deceased or their family would pick which form of vegetation they want planted on top of their corpse. Dead Woods or Forest of the Deceased or some shit. Hell, we could even take it a step further and do like a cool haunted Halloween event every year or something to raise money for “Natural Death Awareness.”  

jake chrismanComment