The Death of Life

Do you know what today’s greatest killer is?

We are stressing ourselves to death, trying to reach some sort of social or financial status. We’ve come to such an advanced level of technology where we have control of our living environments. Our houses prevent us from freezing to death or suffering from heat exhaustion. Our transportation system and social structures prevent us from ever worrying about food availability. No one in the Western World starves to death from food shortages, but we all are permanently ill from stress. Although I’ve yet to hear of a person dying from lack of Math, English, or Social Studies, these mandatory school courses are what we weigh a strong student on.

So we worry. We worry about how we’re going to afford our boat, or whether we’ll get the promotion. What clothes are in fashion? We don’t fear death, we fear falling behind. Success equals happiness. We learned this in Math Class.

Creativity is dead. It died when your parents convinced you to take Grade 12 Math instead of Gym or Art. These classes were the escape. Classes full of people who didn’t listen to their parent’s educational advice. Classes where no one worried about grades. They taught escape – escape from stress. They taught us stress was as fictitious as the pictures we painted or the score in our game.

Being in the mountains is no different. We experience the beauty of a peak we summit before we shred it like a jock. Skiing will cure us from the disease called stress. It is Neverland. While we search for new lines, we will always be young.

Now I find myself six years deep in post-secondary education wishing I was still in my high school gym class watching the C- kids smash tennis balls or in art class watching someone carve a pot leaf into the table. I'll always remember how those days taught me the greatest adversities I’ve faced in my life were never really there.

It’s ironic. Now I’m the one suffering from lack of artistic ability. Not just my own, but that of the Police Sketch Artist whose ability to draw is far exceeded by his Mathematical prowess. When reproducing a description of an suspected Okanagan murderer, they instead drew a almost perfect picture of…… me.

To answer the question I started this story with, apparently I’m today’s greatest killer. Many local artists and ski bums who’ve seen the wanted posters around town have made mention to my afterschool job as a murderer. The only saving grace to my imminent incarceration is the lack of creative expression instilled in this city’s two police forces who, because of their academia-based education, cannot translate the pencil strokes on paper into the image of the person going through their road-check at the bottom of the ski hill.

Art gives us insight. Creativity is the basis for all advances. Athleticism is the opportunity for us to get out of our minds and into our physical bodies. We have no shortage of those who can crunch numbers, but people who can show us the sweetness of life in the form of trees caked with snow on an alpine ridge are a dying breed.

Skiing breeds life. Stress is the death of life. We are doomed.


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