Roadkill Requiem


Abandoned and forgotten like empty shells, I find animals that have died on the road everywhere along my path; unintended victims of our every day commuting. Some die with their bodies seemingly unharmed, which gives an eerie quality to their remains. Flesh and bones and skin and feathers perfectly intact, it seems as if the body is simply waiting there to be collected again by the soul. 

Isn't it strange how an insect, when alive, seems almost mechanical to us? You wouldn't soon talk about the soul of a fly - not unless you are a Buddhist. Yet when confronted by the bodies of these animals, it occurs to me that what is missing from them is that exact same spark, that mystery of existence, the difference between life and death. Where does it go? Where has it gone? 

Does it matter for life that it is conscious of its own existence? Life wants to live, unconditionally, but for these animals it ended on the road side. This is my tribute to life cut short: a roadkill requiem. Where it has gone is unknown. "Death is a wild night and a new road", said Emily Dickinson. We will all have to travel it one day...

Wijnand Boon