Saturday, July 26, 2014

the birthday of life, love, wing and loss...

i thank You God for this most amazing
day...and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life, and of love and of wing...)   e.e. cummings

My cousin's funeral was yesterday. Having been diagnosed a year ago (two former writings*), she achieved the year she so wanted as she had more life to live, family and friends to love, and business to attend.

In the service, the minister told us she called a couple of weeks prior, asking him if he would conduct her funeral which would be imminent. This request by the person, plus the "matter of fact" time-estimate was a  new experience for him. He wanted to meet with her.  She apparently was not too interested but agreed, adding, she did not want an eulogy. "People already know what I do. I don't want it about me, I want it about God." On such visits he usually tried to make a person's transition easier, offering comfort but not this time. She had it "well in hand" and heart. Responding to her request he spoke about her "joy de vive, tour de force" and her aliveness -- in other words her god-ness.

A few decades ago, working in hospice, I walked with people on that transition-part of their journey, held numerous hands, looked into misty eyes through my own mist. However, I never walked this courageous path with anyone who engaged dying so boldly, selflessly and factually. My cousin, I am sure, had her dark nights, walked through her garden of Gethsemane,** fell to the ground as others have done when considering the loss of earth-hardness, the softness of a cheek and a look from an eye that sees.  Then one might ask as Jesus did, "let this cup be taken from me."

Yet, God bless the flesh. It has been our habitant, our reference point all our lives.  We see through it, experience who we are in it.  And ultimately, we have to let go, deeply knowing/hunching there will be new reference points, new awareness and a larger consciousness to be entered. Thus, at the end of another beginning, may I "raise the bar" as my cousin did and also witness to that "which is natural which is infinite which is yes."

* Two previous writings: "the crossroad" - 06/09/2013 and "death as an advisor" - 29/11/2013

** Christian Scriture: Matt 26: 36-46

photo source:

Friday, July 11, 2014

spreading our sails on the sea of light...

This is what the heart knows (under, through, and above) all words: that beyond our small sense of things a magnificent light surrounds us. Mark Nepo

Summer in Nova Scotia,  I love it.  Through our new screen door a lovely freshness wafts down the hall tinged with the aroma of wild roses, continuing on past this desk, by the piano and out onto the deck. We have a postage stamp front lawn edged with rainbow-summer divinity, flowers. Looking up, I catch the yellow finches, as delighted in the new summer sun as I; criss-crossing in the air as they seemingly play tag around the bird feeder  -- spreading their "sails on the sea of light." *

Summer emits an aroma of lightness, I can feel it, I am lighter. Birds saturate the air with song. I know when they wake and when they sleep. A friend arrives. Her dress is flowing in the breeze, arms wrapped in velvet-warmth. She is happy, laughing easily. My son arrives in shorts emitting a vacation-feel yet he has just worked ten hours. Finches, flowers, friend and child arriving, indeed, the light does dance, "my darling, striking the chords of my love."* I feel it in my bones, in my eyes, in my skin. Even the clouds are edged in this warmth of summer sun -- inside and out.

Imagine, all, at essence, at core, at heart is light. Leaders of the great religions fill millions of libraries around the world with this message. Everyone of them witnessing it while walking in and with their personal tragedies. Jesus stated clearly, "I am the light of the world." When Buddha was dying his student wept feeling the light on earth would be extinguished -- yet the reply was, "Anan, Anan, be a light unto yourself." Mohammad after his experience of enlightenment observed, "To the light I have attained and in the light I live."

I know I am light, that we are all essentially light. I know that beyond my small sense of things a magnificence does surround me, is me at core. Yet, the problem is, rather than catching glimpses of it, I want to be living in the feeling of it, having that as my "home base" rather than catching it on the wing different times of the day. I want to know how I can thin my veil, wear a path, awaken my senses enough to experience the trickle of joy, a warmth that begins to thaw me in the moment.  I want thoughts that spread my wings on the sails of light, and like Tagore, shatter into gold every clouded thought.

Then comes a luminosity, a caring, an awareness of exquisite Presence. I feel a smile, a laugh, a giggle birthing. Mirth, "my darling, is spreading from leaf to leaf."* And, I take some hope as my grand daughter who is four asked me the other afternoon, "How come you are "laughy", Grandma? I might reply, "It is the reflection of your own light, Grand daughter."

photo source:
Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore, Novel Peace Prize, 1913