What is ‘survival’

Over the last few weeks I have watching Extant, a TV show starring Halle Berry. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3155320/

It’s got me thinking at a meta scale about species extinction and those that are extant (still surviving). But at a micro level, every individual is surviving in face of challenges both real and imagined. For those who survive horrific experiences there are consequences such as ongoing physical health issue, post traumatic stress and survivor guilt. Thinking about these things inspired the following poem that explores the meaning and consequences of being a ‘survivor’.

Survival is an act of defiance 
That can fill your lungs with air and make you feel your power. 
Survival is an act of carrying on with wounds 
That no-one else can see but pollute your senses. 
Survival is a state of being 
So betwixt and between that you are both dead and alive. 
Survival is a commemoration of those who didn’t  
That places weight on your shoulders to mourn and laugh in their honour. 
Survival is the pattern of a species so intelligent, so creative 
And so incapable of rewriting its scripts. 
Survival is not something to be proud of, it is not heroic 
It is result of the universe’s randomness and disregard for us. 
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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