Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae. The words are often found in morgues, as a way of saying the that the dead help the living learn their secrets, we can likely assume the means is forensic investigation and deduction, but I suppose necromancy wouldn’t be off the mark either…. Regardless, as it applies to the fourth track from The Long Night, Death Rejoices To Succor The Living, the term carries a more generalized meaning… all things live by the death of another. We all survive and thrive because of the consumption of matter, living or dead…. whether you eat animals, plants, or tofu, whatever it is you’re eating once consisted. or still does consist, of living cells, and to continue in this existence we must consume such things. We are remarkably evolved to feed off of both life and death, but feed we must.

Our choice of matter which we consume and the manner of that consumption are generally driven by necessity and availability. When only bread and water are available, there is no choice beyond choosing to live. Doesn’t matter if you’re a strict no-carb Atkins diet zealot and simply go into seizures when presented with a loaf of freshly baked bread, if you choose to live, bread is a better choice than nothing. I’m not picking on bread, love bread in fact… Just an illustration.

Some of the dead and dying things that rejoice to succor the living might be rejoicing because as they are consumed, so their seed is passed on to the consumer, sometimes quite directly, and thus they, their species, survives… sometimes these seeds end up far from the source, carried to new places by the consuming host, deposited with little thought and almost no effort beyond normal bodily functions. Immobile species like certain trees might end up covering a wide area even though they do not move simply because another, let’s say, highly mobile creature finds their fruits to be tasty morsels…. These mobile creatures leave behind their feces filled with seeds from the fruit that was eaten, thereby increasing the range of the fruit bearing trees, and that in turn provides more food for more creatures to consume, carry, defecate, and continue spreading seeds.

Other species that may not directly consume the fruit might enjoy the taste of the fruit eaters and eat them…. Yet other species don’t directly consume either fruit or fruit eaters (nor eat the eaters of the fruit eaters….) but find edible fungi in the cool dry shade of the fruit trees which now spreads far and wide, steadily increasing the territory of the fungi eaters and due to a strange toxic chemical in the feces of the fungi eater, all the eaters of the fruit eaters catch a virus and die, which causes overpopulation among the fruit eaters, and they run out of fruit to eat. Out of necessity the fruit eaters eat the leaves from the fruit trees, and the fruit trees die, and soon the fruit eaters die as well…. eventually the trees fall and the shade goes away and the fungi dies as do the fungi eaters. Thus the fungi killed itself and everything else in this particular eco system.

The whole point of this happy story of life is to impress that all of us, whether seed or consumer, fungi or fruit, are interdependent on everything else…. What we eat, what we discard, things we ignore out of choice or ignorance, all of it is connected and all can have dramatic impacts on much larger systems. Similar forces caused humans to evolve for instance, and I’ll categorize that as a good thing… And the same processes caused ticks to evolve, and ticks just suck (though I understand wild turkey find ticks quite tasty…). There’s probably not much point in attempting to stop or to too closely regulate anything to keep it from changing too much, nor in creating a utopia of mango groves, as things will change whether we try and stop it or not, whether they are good or not. However, we can pay attention, and we can find a new place with fruit trees that are far from fungi, or maybe we can learn to eat the fungi, once sautéed with onions, habaneros, and smothered in ghee….

And so, after much rumination, Death Rejoices To Succor The Living, was born as an ode to the processes, an expression of invitation, an explanation of the essence of being but one small part in myriad systems, the majority of which I’m generally oblivious to…. but just because I’m not aware, or worse that I choose not to be aware, does not mean the connections and interdependencies cease to be, far from it…. the consequences of consumption are quite an apt metaphor for Death Rejoices To Succor The Living.