What does it mean to be human?
Breathing oxygen. Walking upright on two legs. Sentience. Language. These are definite characteristics associated with human beings, but do they get at the heart of what it means to be human? Don’t they fall a little short on explaining the awesome power humans wield? Don’t they fail to reveal the layers to our humanity? Our potential?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines human as “a bipedal primate mammal.” Rather cold and scientific, don’t you think?
Being human means so much more than giving birth to live young, being warm-blooded, and having hair covering most of our bodies. Being human means possibilities, opportunities, and journeys. It means setting goals, striving to reach them, and celebrating when we cross our personal finish lines. It means having not only an intellectual response to literature, art, and music but an emotional one as well. It means creating literature, art, and music. Humans express themselves, build connections with other humans, make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, then make more mistakes.
We are experiments in progress. Variables change. Adjustments are made. Results are analyzed. Then we toss all that aside, live through the pain, fight for what we want and believe and deserve. We lead with our heads and our feet. We listen to our guts, our sixth senses. We let our hearts be in charge every now and again just to see what happens. We defy the odds.
Another day dawns after a cold, dark night, and we relish the feeling of the sun on our faces. We are part of everything around us. Being truly human means tapping into all that the Universe offers, drawing energy from nature, from our relationships, from deep within ourselves. Our bodies represent us, but our souls define us.
And our actions will be how we are remembered.
We are humans, and the road is not always an easy one. Our duration is unknown, but we take comfort in the fact that we are not alone. Though our voyages may not be the same, we share a lifeblood that binds us all. We find our place. We fit in while struggling to be unique. We accept the embrace and though we know eternity will never be ours, we enjoy our fleeting trips and hope we haven’t wasted the gift that is life.
SALVATION ETERNAL is gothic poetry in two voices and the second book in The Eternal Series. Author Joseph Mazzenga supplies the voice of Lucia, the female demon, and I am the voice of Father Nathaniel, the male angel.
Darkness. Cold, unforgiving, and muting all in existence. Humanity’s sight was forever entrenched… until there was Light.
Souls are tender things. Unseen by human eyes, but eternally precious. We battle for their preservation every second of every day. Intangible, yet fragile, our souls need protection from the Darkness that seeks to blacken our existence.
The Light searches for us, our salvation its mission. Warm and expanding, it wishes to fold us in a tight embrace. All sins are forgiven for those who repent.
But do we lose ourselves in the process?
Might there not be perfection somewhere between the Dark and the Light?
And when time finally stands at rest, I will be my only companion.
Framed. Reviled. Driven out. Yet it will end in a lonesome stead.
When humanity was called mankind, I hefted the moniker of devil for I was birthed with accused blood relation.
Misunderstood. Misguided. Mistaken. All under the guise of demon.
I am not of Him or with Him. I am untaught with isolation.
I am Lucia Demone Cavaliere.
I suffer evil. I repulse all that is good, nonetheless a starless night is not a white shore. I am never fully unspoken.
So be it.
Humanity calls on me, alone. They call me to do their bidding hitherto they are pawns in the offing of death.
Dimness instead of brilliance. Look for me not in what you call Heaven.
Look for the demon in your life that you call Hell…
Saving souls is a daunting task.
There is no shortage of lost ones in need of redemption. Their numbers multiply by the second, but I am only a solitary guardian, doing what I must, what I have been charged with by Him.
I’ve heard The Call, chosen my fate, accepted my destiny, and the lost shall not stay lost. Not on my watch.
I am Father Nathaniel O’Ryan.
His Light flows through me and seeks the Darkness. Souls reach out to me, often without the permission of their hosts. I deny no one, for each soul started with Him. Each soul has the Divine Light. It may dim, but it is never extinguished. Not fully. I can always find it. Through me, He rekindles, reclaims, rejoices.
Some resist, but I am not easily discouraged, for He walks with me
We can all shine in His embrace.
I am here to make sure we all remember this. I am here to save you.
I miss all that is bitter
The bite of winter is no more
Surrounded by the stench of roses
To the death for an autumn breeze
There is no home
Save for the dark alley
The path of the ill gotten
Mist that fills me
Desire that takes me
A devil in disguise?
I am right before them all
More hours of precious sunlight
to shine into the souls I seek,
the souls which don’t accept
With the coming darkness,
will summon me,
sing their songs of misery,
then reject my outstretched hands.
My offers will be many,
but acceptance equals defeat
in the eyes of the broken.
Healing is not for the impatient,
nor the weary.
A strong heart
must decide to be strong.⩫ Nathaniel
You can read the rest of Lucia and Nathaniel's story by downloading SALVATION ETERNAL for only $0.99.
What do you think it means to be human? Would you rather be a supernatural creature? If so, what kind?