I think, in the afterlife, I would like to be a Reaper.
A Reaper Man.
I just finished reading Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett. I’d found out about it on TVTropes, what with my obsession with Death, thanks to my worship of Hel. And after reading it, I understand why so many people love his books, and why so many have written him about how they hope Death is just like he is in the books.
And it can all be summed up in one easy, simple, line.
WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT BUT THE CARE OF THE REAPER MAN?
It’s a strange line, and just reading it, you might not get all the importance of the line. Really, without the last half of the book, it’s impossible to really convey, but Death, after being fired, spends his time as a mortal, and learns to care about them. Learns to risk the very mortal life he now has, which is counting down rapidly, because there are some things worth dying for. Learns why time is so precious, and why the prisoner in the tower keeps small birds. I wish I had the book with me, so I could down the entire part. Because it comes from Death, asking for time, time he can use to show a mortal woman some kindness. The line is so awesome that I’m thinking of getting it as a tattoo, and even put it on a shirt I’m going to be wearing, with the image from my tarot deck.
Which manages to combine both the words of Death (by Pratchett) and Hel.
So it got me looking at some of the other stuff Death was in, and I found Hogfather. haven’t read it. Still working my way through the movie. But I found a clip on youtube that really speaks to me, and describes perfectly why I not only believe in the Gods, even when I have doubts about if they exist, but why I believe in Santa and faeries, and everything else.
Because he’s right. Those things are just “lies” and “fantasies.” I’ve lived a life that, while not as bad as some, still has been pretty bad at times. I’ve learned that mercy, justice, etc, are illusions. They don’t really exist. There is no atoms of Justice, no molecules of mercy. They’re just dreams, illusions.
But if we do not believe, how can they become?
It’s the same with faith, really. It’s why I really started to believe in the Gods of my ancestors. Because it didn’t matter if they were real. What mattered what that I lived as if they were real. Because if I could believe in that, then I could believe in the things they stood for. Family. Honor. Glory.
Otherwise the Sun is only a ball of flaming gas. Otherwise the moon is just the reflection of light. Otherwise, this world is empty of everything that gives it beauty and meaning. It is merely a series of chemical reactions. Human thought is nothing more than electrons that fire, rather than beauty and awe and horror and wonder.
We need to believe in things that aren’t true. How else can they become?