Life. Death. Life.

(Originally published December 1, 2010, in my MySpace blog)

Dear Friends,

I haven’t been in touch for a few weeks.  There’s enough blather in the worlds these days.  I decline to add empty words, devoid of real passion.   I find myself thus challenged to be honest with you.

Someone I know died on Sunday.  Not “immediate” family, but still close.  He was younger than I by a couple of years, and left two kids just entering their teens, and a very frail and elderly mother who has to say goodbye to her youngest son.

How do we carry grief?  This kind of sorrow sits in our bodies like lead in the belly.  It spreads through our brain, our thoughts, in every direction.  We are our own flood-ravaged landscape, no part of our psyche escapes the touch of that tide, even the parts that remained above the flood line are enveloped in the wafting scent of loss.

Beyond this landscape, we can, occasionally, become aware of the great wheel turning, the world spinning, life and death unending, like the proverbial snake eating its own tail, no beginning, no end.  When we walk a path with our eyes glued to the ground, terrified of the inevitable stumbling blocks in our way, all we can see is the dirt that takes us all.

But we can also stop, right now.  Don’t take another step.  Be grounded, look up to where the sun is shining, and see its procession across the sky.  The sun’s progress is our own.  Day by day we rise, work our way across an expanse of sky, and retire at night, to some place below the horizon, unseen.  Life – every little bit of it – marches along the same path; we have our time in the sun, and then we retire into that good night, until it is time to begin again, fresh, full of new promise.  This is Life, and we are all part of the parade, during the sunlit and the obscure times.  The journey does not end.

So I sit with the sadness, share memories with other loved ones, and let this season be what it must be.   Be well, my friends.

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