On Being Human

During the long, seemingly interminable flight home from Dubai to Brisbane, I had an epiphany, dear readers, that has continued to provoke some gnashing of teeth and philosophical ruminations, accompanied by some tossing and turning at night.

It’s not that I am a poor flier; far from it.  That sensation of taking off, leaving everything behind in search of new adventures, is for me, one of the most exhilarating feelings and has prompted delight since a very young age.  The worst part of flying though is the lack of sleep.  Despite my best efforts to get comfortable, sleep always eludes me.  So it is a great comfort to discover the veritable smorgasbord of entertainment on the console to while away the hours till touch down.

Searching through the wide range of programs available, I stumbled onto a new remake of the old Poldark series from the BBC.  I swear, not since Mr Darcy emerged from his pond swim in Pride and Prejudice some 20+ years ago, all wet shirt and dripping curly black locks, have I seen such a dark, brooding, bodice-ripping hero grace our screens.  Delightful Irish actor, Aidan Turner, is a sight to behold, dressed in late 1700’s period costume, resplendent in his tri-corner hat and twisting those divine lips around some corny, ever so delicious, romantic dialogue.

As one should with all decent obsessions, I headed straight to Google when I arrived home to get the low down on this lovely young man and stumbled onto a rather quirky drama called Being Human (also from the BBC – when will the US realise they can’t do drama like the Brits).  The premise of this series from 2009 is that we have a vampire (all dark and brooding of course) a werewolf and a ghost all sharing a house in Bristol.  It crackles along with supernatural adventures, gruesome special effects, lots and lots and LOTS of fake blood and some clever dialogue as our heroes deal with their inner demons whilst trying to live relatively normal human lives.  Their attempts at “being human” provided me with some laugh out loud moments as they demonstrated all the normal human behaviours whilst dealing with extraordinary circumstances.  Their souls were desperately trying to break free of the chains wrapped around them by their inner monsters.

Thus it is that I sit here, having now watched a couple of episodes, and consider this concept of “being human”.  There is such angst in this humanity business and I suspect that it is something many of us struggle with on a daily basis.  We set ourselves up for failure time and again when we try to live up to other people’s expectations or versions of ourselves.  There is significant pressure to conform to society’s norms or the media’s interpretation of what is normal.

Please don’t think for one minute that I am about to grow fangs and wreak unholy chaos on an unsuspecting public (although I’m sure those who have driven with me could relate!).

There is however a remarkable freedom in acknowledging our humanness.  To be human is to celebrate our lightness and engage with our darkness; accept our grace and burn with our fires; trust in our strengths and understand our weaknesses; embrace our passions and live to the fullest.  To be truly human is to accept yourself freely and without judgement.

It feels like I have only recently been able to name this spiritual voyage of discovery that I’ve been on these last few years, and it is exciting to finally feel my soul take flight.  In the midst of this is the acceptance and joy of “being human” and the warm consolation this brings.

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