I will show you fear in a handful of dust

Who the Hell is Merlin Fraser ?
Who the Hell is Merlin Fraser ?

“I will show you fear in a handful of dust !”

 So wrote T.S. Elliot in the ‘Wasteland’ and ever since people have striven to find meaning and define what was in his mind when he wrote those words.

 

Many claim it defines the irrational fear we humans have of our mortality and the unknown that lies beyond our death.  Trouble is if that simple explanation were true then why would someone like me even give these words a second thought ?  After all I have no fear of death, as someone with pre religious Pagan beliefs I neither need nor follow any God, I accept life as merely a natural journey with both a beginning and an end.   There is nothing before life and there is nothing after life.

 

Yet I find that those few words haunt me still.

 

Most people know me as someone who has a great love of life, an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and answers they know that I have spent my entire life with the word ‘Why’ ever on my lips.   I marvel at the power of nature and the wonders all around me and I hate the ignorance I see and hear coming from people whom I believe should know better yet chose to exist in a blinkered world that shields them from truth and reality.

 

It annoys me that in this existence most of us are not around long enough to make a difference while many of those you could chose not to and those who try are subjected to ridicule as they endeavour to encourage change.

 

So;  is that what his words mean....?  Not that we fear death but we fear that we will leave this world without a trace of ever having been here at all and that an even greater number will never be aware of our absence.

 

There are a few scattered throughout history who achieve a sort of immortality for their great works and deeds their names etched into our memory.   Many others alive today will also achieve this high level, although thanks to the power of the Media and our swallow desire to worship celebrity I fear in most cases it will be for all the wrong reasons.    I find it abhorrent that someone like Einstein will have to share high Status with the likes of Michael Jackson or Wayne Rooney....

 

I suppose my own vain attempts to make some sort of dent in the world or to leave a mark is through my writing, to join the ranks of Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle or Colin Dexter as a crime writer.   I might even have settled for immortality as the one who brought the Dust Bunny characters of Floater, Dingle, McFluff and Dame Margot Flufftain to life but being a realist in an unrealistic world even I can see the futility in my dreams.

 

Being a realist one is always acutely aware that failure is always an option, in any challenge we hope for the best while planning for the worst and we are happy to settle for the grey compromise area in the middle, this is how we survive and live to rise again and again.   Some would say that this is not a bad philosophy for life, accepting the hard knocks yet always ready to enter the fray one more time.

 

For life ...Yes!

 

But what about afterwards ?    Can I sense that fear.... in that handful of dust... that ultimately I and all of us will become ?

 

In my life so far I have many achievements to my credit, not earth shattering or world saving but personal goals set and met.   I hope for those with whom my path has crossed I may have made a contribution to who they are and help them to set out and achieve their own goals.  I hope in some tiny way I have made a difference for having been here, yet in the grand scheme of things I sincerely doubt it....

 

Yet as a lifelong optimist I will continue to try to so I wear my new Sweat Shirt with Pride knowing this at least;  that all those who read the words as I pass them by will know the question although they may never find the answer !   

Comments 38 comments

Jesus was a hippy profile image

Jesus was a hippy 5 years ago from United Kingdom

I wouldn't worry about leaving a legacy so to speak. We only know about historical figures from the last couple of thousand years or so. We know who discovered electricity, created the first plane and other relatively modern achievements but the further back we go in time, the less we know about anyone and the more conjecture is applied.

I doubt very much if Einstein or Newton will be remembered in ten or twenty thousand years for much of what they did. Maybe a handful of their achievments may trickle through, but as time goes on, they will eventually by forgotten just like any other human that existed before five thousand years ago.


Loveslove profile image

Loveslove 5 years ago from England

Your legacy will be your books .....The Inner Space Trilogy and hopefully Dust Bunnies as well !!Maybe more ,.......only you know the answer .


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills Author

You could well be right I suppose, not that that makes me feel any better about it.

You look to a time frame ten, twenty thousand years into the future and I'm glad you are optimstic enough to assume mankind as we know it will still be around.

If indeed they are then I can only hope the world they become a damn sight more smarter than they are right now.


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills Author

Hey Loveslove,

How kind of you to say so but so far my new Sweat Shirt says it all !


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Merlin My belief is there is something after death and believing this does not make me fear death. I am not a religious person but I do believe in a higher being and always have. I think many people want to make some kind of an impression on the world in some way or another but few really do. I would just be happy knowing that I have been remembered and left an impression on a handful of people.

Enjoyed reading your hub.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Life is just a moment important only to ourselves. A handful of dust is what we were and shall be again. Knowing that my atoms are infinite is enough for me. We may not know your name, but you are just as much a part of the universe as I am and all that is known or unknown. Life goes on.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Merlin - Interesting! I wonder what he meant too. My first instinct was that he was referring to the ashes to ashes idea.

I received my Merlin shirt through Cafe Press. I want you to know I wore It to Six Flags on Sunday. I noticed a lot of people staring at it and they were really taking their time too! Usually when someone stares at my chest I give them a dirty look! Sunday I made sure the shirt wasn't all bunched up so everyone could take their time:)! LOL

Seriously, people were reading it! The picture is awesome!


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills Author

Hi Susan,

I suppose to have lived, loved and been loved in return should be enough. I have always enjoyed my life and the many challenges it has given me and like most people I sometimes ask "Is this all there is ?"

In my overly logical way I have reached the conclusion that it is. I know this troubles many people and I am often challenged on the subject but I have no answer for them only questions !

However, I also believe we two are both happy people and content in our our world.


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills Author

Hey Austinstar,

Being the Vain animal that I am I want the world to know who I AM not who I WAS !

I thought you of all people would reconise an Advert when you saw one (LOL)!!! After all is said than done whose idea was it in the first place ?


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills Author

Hi RealHousewife,

My first customer and my only walking advert....how can I ever thank you enough for donating your chest to my cause ?

I agree with you that it is an awesome picture drawn by an extremely talented artist.

The two heads on the cover of Book Two is also one of his and looks fantastic on a white background who knows with the right chest it might take on a 3D effect what do you think ?


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California

Merlin,

Simply being able to talk about Realhousewifes chest shows what an impression you can leave!

But think about this place, the internet, where we share our lives with one another...

Never actually meeting in any traditional sense, we talk to each other, share our innermost thoughts, enjoy each other's company, all the while utilizing something even more etherial than dust.

And it's forever,

Or at least until the giant burst of electromagnetic radiation from our sun wipes it...

I believe that I have more "invisible" or efriends than I do live humans. different, sure, but...

Your mark is made

C


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Hey I think your right! Yes Merlin - that is why I wore it to Six Flags, literally hundreds of people got to see it:). Lol! Ha! You'll be seeing the photos too - I am working on a hub about St. Louis!

I love the artistry on that shirt!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Well yeah Chris - I mean this is a legacy! It's what I'll be leaving to the children!

And the kids will say, "our mom was crazy!" and have the proof to back it up:) Sweet.


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills Author

Hey RH,

If you check out the link to an earlier Hub of mine you can see the original art work without the writing...

http://hubpages.com/literature/My-Books-and-Storie


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills Author

Hey Chris,

I'm losing the plot here help me out... I'm not sure what RH is leaving her kids her collection of T shirts, or her chest ! Looking forward to seeing the photos...

I agree with your comment about the friends we make on here that's the best part of Hubs.... Some want or need to make money from the site I'm here for the fun of it.

Perhaps my legacy will be my Humour !

Your Invisible Pal !!!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I saw that one before I saw the cafe press shirt! That is why I bought it!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

Merlin...I hope you won't give up on getting your Dust Bunny characters into print (or even in a TV cartoon or animated movie). I think they are wonderful, and when I showed your hub with the illustrations of the Dust Bunnies to my great-grandchildren of the appropriate young ages, they agreed!

As for your shirt, I like it and will be looking for it on CafePress. (Hope it comes in a tee shirt version--it's hot here most of the time.)

There's more than one way to immortality! Jaye


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills Author

Hi Jaye,

I will pass your request onto Austinstar who is the one who set up my shop so please watch this space.... hope you are prepared with a half decent answer !

I haven't given up on the Dust Bunnies in fact I had a possible new lead to a potential illustrator but will have to wait until after the Easter break.

I am also in the process of completing a new DB story about the Great Fluffini,escapologist extraorinaire !

I don't want or need immortality for myself but I think Floater and the gang deserve it.


stargazer 01 profile image

stargazer 01 5 years ago

Hi Merlin great sweat shirt you should get printed on the back and have you read his books if not why not ask me !! why do you not sell them and talk about dust I am glad to read you have not given up on the dust bunnies and your books are your legacy.


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills Author

Hi Stargazer,

If you go to the Cafe Press UK web site and search for me you can buy it or a selection of othe bits and pieces.

Maybe one day we will add the Dust Bunnies to the shop.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

I have to get back to you a little later.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Sorry, I was watching Tom Cruise who looks suspiciously like Stan Fletcher.

Anyway, Merlin's US store is at http://www.cafepress.com/buy_Merlin_Fraser_books

If you have a special request for a design on a t-shirt or other product, just contact me. The sweatshirt came out great!


Loveslove profile image

Loveslove 5 years ago from England

Austin Star..Are you saying that Stan Fletcher is really Tom Cruise ? lol ....


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills Author

Hi Loveslove... I think Austinstar just thinks Tom Cruise is a sawn off version of Stan.

I suppose Stan could double for Tom if the hole was deep enough... Perhaps Austinstar will do a picture Hub on the subject of comparison. I think Stan would look good in Top Gun !


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills Author

Hey Austinstar,

So far the only one who has a special request is Jaye above.


Loveslove profile image

Loveslove 5 years ago from England

I fancy a Dust Bunny T shirt !!


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Merlin, send me the art work for the DB t-shirt!


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills Author

You're being far too nice to these guys ! You sure they deserve it ?

I will have to ask permission from the original artist first, these drawings were part of an ongoing project, I don't suppose they will mind put I must ask first.


Loveslove profile image

Loveslove 5 years ago from England

You know I deserve it !! lol XXX


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills Author

So Loveslove which Dust Bunny did you have in mind ?


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

I know! I'm trying to do some other projects too, and I'm on a medical leave from work. I just can't stay off this darn computer.


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills Author

Got your Knicker Elastic caught in the arm of the chair again Huh ?


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

That sounds about right. I'm having difficulty controlling my blood sugar, pressure and depression. I'm dizzy and not a true blonde. Oh wait, I'm a strawberry blonde - I think that counts. Guess you'd call me a Ginger.


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills Author

Sounds as though you're going through the Wars a bit perhaps a time out might be beneficial to get things back in balance. Can't see stressing over our needs is helping your cause very much, although it is greatly appreciated....

Take a T Shirt out of Petty Cash !


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

I'm only setting 4 goals a week instead of the usual 20 or so, so I'm resting. Putting some art work on a t-shirt only takes about 15 to 20 minutes. No big whoop and it sort of relaxes me. I love creating things.


Loveslove profile image

Loveslove 5 years ago from England

Hi Merlin..I think I would like Margot !!


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

It doesn't really matter whether you make a name for yourself or not.

What really matters is the impression that you make on those people that do come into your orbit, whether they be two, or two billion.

Good luck with all your efforts.


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills Author

Hi Christopher,

You could be right, but fame and celebrity sells and I need to sell my books, it’s how I make my living, writing so in that instance the more people who know me the better.

I would hope that people read my work because it is of interest to them, I have written Fictional Murder Mysteries and nonfiction articles and short stories on history. I am working on a series of children’s stories all of which need to be sold.

So yes I can be controversial sometimes, and humorous on others, I have been known to be a wise council at times, or act as confidant to someone in special need. I enjoy helping others, if I can, but have also been known as a person who doesn’t suffer fools.

Hopefully this makes me just another regular guy, but one who happens to write and needs the active support, and money, of a much wider readership than he has at the moment....

What you get here on Hub Pages are Free Samples !

Thanks for stopping by.

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