Fragments of grief

As I watch the rain, I think of the butterfly, the dragonfly, the hummingbird: where do they hide, where do they go? Did they have time to escape the storm, or are they struggling under the weight of the raindrops to flap away to safety? Are they, like me, worried about their diaphanous wings, that they might tear and send them crashing to the ground? Do they love this delicate grief that drips from their glistening bodies, and do their beady eyes accept it as part of them?

Is it possible to see again through this fog of impermanence, and live beyond the terror of being eternally nothing? Do others live with a deep, aching yearning for something unknown, and will I ever find out what that is and chase after it? Like a weed that's been painfully torn from the flower bed, I've been thrown at the side of the road. Everyday in this ditch I grow taller, and observe the things around me.  

I see the other weeds surrounding me, gathering their bristly leaves and weeping milkily, their thorny crowns bowed sadly to the ground. We are all here together, bound by our common knowledge, yet we have not found a language to share our grief. We have all bitten the apple and fallen from the heavenly garden, but we are all lonely and alone in our mortal suffering.

I have grown so much in two years, even the myriad white hairs that suddenly sprouted on my head can testify to that. I feel like I had been unconscious for twenty five years, and now I am slowly waking up to my life. Sometimes I feel so naive about personal death affecting me this way when death has always been all around us, but I guess it's one of those rites of passage every human being must experience sooner or later. 

I left behind me the land of the living for some time, and visited the Otherworld, where spirits reside. Like stepping into the fairytale swamp, I sank and sank into the mud, down and down I went, past the spider webs and tarantula holes, past the rotting leaves and humus, down through the brittle, dusty crust of the earth and then, sinking still, down the thick, boiling, viscous depths until I reached the dark, ferrous realm of the dead.

"Who's there?", a thundering voice reverberated across the infinite darkness. "I smell a Living. State your name and what you seek."

Frightened, disoriented, confused and tearful, I answered that I had forgotten my name and what I was looking for. "Dear Lord", I squeaked, "I must have been walking in the night, and lost the way. Pray tell, which way is home?"

At once, I heard a muffled shuffling sound from all around me growing louder, like the swell of a million oceans, and within seconds I was surrounded by a strangely unsettling and musky yet impalpable presence, which spoke with a billion tongues:

"Living Child, we do not know the way. We have no eyes, we gave them to the worms. Nor do we need them, for it is dark. Sit here awhile, no need to rush. But you must know, the Dead are very serious: don't make a sound, don't make a fuss - we need to rest."

Knowing nothing, naked, sad, afraid, I sat on the cold, hard ground in deep, starless darkness and listened, trying to remember who I was and where I was going to.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Personal interpretation, with the aim of providing hope and comfort

July 6, Baton Rouge, LA

Joachim The Tree