The Hands of a Serial Killer

Confession time

Here you see the hands of a serial killer.

WEB Serial Killer Hands 2 Kopie

They are my hands.

Yes, I have killed several living beings in one go. Some would be proud of me. Some might smile. But I, I am in conflict.

Killing is wrong. We all know that. Yet, we go on killing in so many ways. Often not even thinking about it. Alternatively we differentiate between who and what may be killed for what reason. There are big issues like the illegal slaughtering of rhinos or trophy hunting that gets many people (including me) upset and protesting, but most of those protesting happily sit down and eat a steak. There is a difference most people seem to agree.

That is fine by me. They can do as they like. But what about me? 

I realise that even if I am not a trophy hunter or rhino poacher, I am still senselessly killing many beings. And I wish I would not. So I am trying to at least minimize the damage, by becoming more and more conscious about when and where I am directly or indirectly killing.

Ever since I read the beautiful German poem ‘Die Mücke’  as a child, I had difficulties with killing mosquitos, but I still did. (I copied the poem below and updated the post with an English translation.) Some years ago I tried the approach of ‘making peace’ with them, and asking them to not bite me and I will not kill them. With limited success… on both sides.

But I did kill less and became better at ignoring them. This year there are so many, that ignoring them did not really work anymore.

Recently several of them made it into the mosquito net during the night and had a feast. In the morning they were all bulging red with our blood.

I was upset and swat them all, one after the other. It was easy, they were caught in the net, fat and slow. What a thrill to get back at them! I knew I should not. I felt pretty guilty looking at my blood-stained hands and their squashed bodies afterwards.

To appease them, I took photos of the crime scene, ie my hands. Making art about the conflicts ranging in my soul and mind is usually the best medicine, and often leads to surprising insights.

And to be fair to myself, I also took a photograph of my leg with, what seems like, hundreds of mossie bites. This made me think of star constellations. Maybe the mosquitos are from a different planet? Or their bite patterns form secret messages for us or for them? Something like: this persons blood is really yummy, you should try it too! Who knows? (I just love considering all different possibilities once my mind is set loose on a new mission. 😉 ) So I decided to work on this idea too.

While I was making the ‘Mosquito Constellation’ (below) I searched the internet for a picture of a mosquito to trace and found one on Conversations with Don Machinga and Other Beings – Musings from the Peruvian Amazon, in a post titled: Three Visits to the Mosquito Spirit King. What an interesting read!!! If you have a moment and are curious, pop over there to see what the Mosquito Spirit King is saying.

I will ponder on this for a while and try to refrain from killing those little buggers.

Mosquito Constellation (Digitally manipulated photograph)Mosquito Constellation by Imke Rust (Digitally manipulated photograph)

Wishing you all a beautiful week!

Imke

Die Mücke

Albrecht Haushofer (1903-1945)

Ein leises Gesurr. Auf meine Hand
sinkt flügelschwirrend eine Mücke nieder,
ein Hauch von einem Leib, sechs zarte Glieder –
Wo kam sie her aus winterlichem Land?

Ein Rüssel … schlag ich zu? Mißgönn ich ihr
den Tropfen Blut, der solches Wesen nährt?
Den leichten Schmerz, den mir der Stich gewährt?
Sie handelt, wie sie muß. Bin ich ein Tier?

So stich nur zu, du kleine Flügelseele,
solang mein Blutgefäß dich nähren mag,
solang du sorgst um deinen kurzen Tag!

Stich zu, daß es dir nicht an Kräften fehle!
Wir sind ja beide, Mensch und Mücke, nichts
als kleine Schatten eines großen Lichts.

Translation Update:

I have tried to translate the poem as best as I can. It might not be very elegant, but I hope you get the idea :)
Here it goes:

The Mosquito

A soft buzz. On my hand
decents with whirring wings a mosquito,
a hint of a body, six delicate limbs –
Where did she come out of this wintry country?

A trunk … Will I hit? Do I begrudge her
the drop of blood that nourishes such a being?
The slight pain that the sting gives me?
She acts, as she must. Am I an animal?

So just sting, little winged soul,
as long as my blood vessel may nourish you,
as long as you care for your short days!

Sting, to that you have no lack of strength!
We’re both, human and mosquito, nothing
than a small shadow of a great light.

(Just as an explanation: In German the mosquito has a female article, so it could refer to a mosquito in general or a female mosquito. I decided to translate it in the form of a female mosquito, because that was easier and to me she is female. But I think he meant just ‘a’ mosquito.)

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8 thoughts on “The Hands of a Serial Killer

    1. Imke Rust Post author

      Thank you, dear Cosmic Dr Bii!
      Ok, I have tried to translate the poem as best as I can.
      My translation might not be very elegant, but I hope you get the idea 🙂
      Here it goes:

      The Mosquito

      A soft buzz. On my hand
      decents with whirring wings a mosquito,
      a hint of a body, six delicate limbs –
      Where did she come out of this wintry country?

      A trunk … Will I hit? Do I begrudge her
      the drop of blood that nourishes such a being?
      The slight pain that the sting gives me?
      She acts, as she must. Am I an animal?

      So just sting, little winged soul,
      as long as my blood vessel may nourish you,
      as long as you care for your short days!

      Sting, to that you have no lack of strength!
      We’re both, human and mosquito, nothing
      than a small shadow of a great light.

      (Just as an explanation: In German the mosquito has a female article, so it could refer to a mosquito in general or a female mosquito. I decided to translate it in the form of a female mosquito, because that was easier and to me she is female. But I think he meant just ‘a’ mosquito.)

      I hope you like it!

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        1. Imke Rust Post author

          Oh, interesting, so my intuition was right. So the females are the ones having to do the dangerous task of obtaining blood to ensure their species’ survival…hmmm.
          Yes, the poem is good and I wish I could better translate the subtleties and beauty of the writing.

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  1. Indigo Spider

    I read somewhere that we are all made from stars. Perhaps even the mosquitoes are, hence, leaving constellations on our legs as reminders of where we all start.

    Thank you for the poem. I remember my mother reading it to me when I was young. I, too, feel guilt over killing creatures, even the pesky mosquito, and have attempted to lessen my serial killing. Those pesky biters seem to ask for it though!

    Like

    Reply
    1. Imke Rust Post author

      Yes, all spiritual teachings say that we are one, and the same, just like the stars. We are all stradust 🙂 It is just often so difficult to accept that and figure out how to behave in a society that has taught us separation and fear. There is also much killing in nature, so I do not know if ALL killing is bad. Maybe killing for food and asking the animal and saying thanks, like the old Indians did is the best?
      I wish I knew.

      How wonderful that you know the poem. It made such an impression on me, so beautifully written. I told so many people about it and you are the first one, who actually has heard it before 🙂

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      Reply
      1. Indigo Spider

        Yes, as I said, my mother read it to me when I was young. She was an avid reader, which is where I no doubt developed the habit, and had several books of her favorite German authors she brought with her to America. I may be wrong but I vaguely remember her telling me that she had to keep her Haushofer hidden during the war since he was an opponent of Nazism.

        My mother also told me that I am the spitting image for her older sister, Lucy, who was the one that introduced mom to many authors she read to me in the original German when I was young. Tante Lucy also wanted to be a poet and writer so perhaps it runs in our blood. 😀

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        1. Imke Rust Post author

          Wonderful that your mother did that and introduced you to her German books! Yes, when I looked for a copy of the poem on the internet I also read that he opposed the Nazis. No wonder, his understanding of the world shown in this poem, realising that even the mosquito is no different to him, he would have a problem with the ideology at that time. How wonderful that people like him have always ontinued to express their insights.

          Maybe the writing runs in the family, and waiting for you to actually ‘live’ and do it. I just read in a personalized horoscope that one of my life’s challenges is to express the creativity that the women in my family line who came before me, were also vessels for, but for whatever reasons could not express… Sounds as if you might have a similar challenge with your mother and aunt having had strong interests in literature? 🙂

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