Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Give and Take (March 20, 2015)

I was awoken in the still-dark hours of this Spring morning by a phone call. It is rarely good news when your closest friends call you before six a.m. My dear friend's voice was soaked with tears as she told me about the sudden death of a mutual friend. My heart sank and we babbled useless words at one another for a small time. For what can you say that means anything in the face of Death?

My Facebook feed is filled with the news and many, many words of condolence and solace. They are all the same words, rearranged and embellished. The vocabulary of grief is straightforward. There is a small hole in our world now and we push words toward each other to try and cover it up. Scrolling further through my feed and I see that another friend has lost someone important to them, and another besides. My curiosity, ever ravenous, led me to the current death rate of 1.8 per second. There must be someone I know somehow touched by Death every single day. A dismal fact.

Of course my optimism, also ever voracious, leads me to the current birth rate of 4 per second. And though this fact feeds my hope, it does not lighten my mood. This thing we do every day, this Life, is a thin string between birth and death. Anything can come along and snip it out of the air. Sometimes it is a set of cosmic shears that comes up unexpectedly from the nothingness. Sometimes it is a final fraying after years of sharp missteps. It is always sad; often it is pitiable.

And now I have to come to terms with the vacuous space left behind. This person whose living room I sat in just two weeks ago, hearing new stories of old days. Whose shoulder I supported for an entire day but a mere week before today. And suddenly I shall never see her again. The surreality is disorienting. This kind of sadness roots me in the Now. It makes me more mindful, and grateful, for this day.

And so today is a day of true balance. A day equal in light and dark; the sun rising in truest East. Perhaps I have mentioned it before, but Spring is my favorite season. Today is the vernal equinox and I am well pleased to know that there will be more light than dark and warmer days are just around the corner. But it does only so much to balance the sadness and ache in my heart this morning.

(As stated in the post before, this was written in March and was upon the passing of Mistress Siobhan. I have chosen leave it with its unfinished ending.)

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