Wednesday, February 26, 2020

On death, in fragments


James Marvin Phelps/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

Corvid, corvid hop
Corvid, corvid flap
Corvid, corvid, feeling morbid
Snap, snap, snap!

― a dark ditty Nature Boy and I composed during a stroll with our child, set to the rhythm of Llama Llama Hoppity-Hop



“The fear of death is why we build cathedrals, have children, declare war, and watch cat videos online at three a.m.”

― Caitlin Doughty, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory



Since the children share in blood and flesh, Jesus likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life.

 ―Hebrews 2:14-15



The loss, from brain cancer, of a joy-filled, gratitude-pouring, life-affirming improv comedian and poet. She was one year younger than me. I question what makes us, us. Neurons? Pulses? Art?



"'Risorgimento,' as I understand it, refers to the massive unification effort for Italy in the 19th century. In many inelegant ways, it brought together a number of diverse and potentially conflicting mindsets in order to create a singular identity. Rome, in its messiness of parking hell and zillions of people like me, serve as a modern-day example of risorgimento. But also, within this definition of holistic complexity, we also must accept the unifying experience that is living and dying."

Il Risorgimento, Megan Hallinan



The random memory that Rachel Held Evans' final blog post before her sudden death last year was titled "Lent for the Lamenting," and that she had this to say:

It strikes me today that the liturgy of Ash Wednesday teaches something that nearly everyone can agree on. Whether you are part of a church or not, whether you believe today or your doubt, whether you are a Christian or an atheist or an agnostic or a so-called “none” (whose faith experiences far transcend the limits of that label) you know this truth deep in your bones: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return.”



Then suddenly, on a misty, chilly late-winter walk, the shock of early pink blossoms against the gray, and I am reminded that all is never lost.


Prayer #344: Fragment

broken
detached
not whole

isolated
unfinished
what remains

dust
molecules
ashes to ashes

poetry
music
love, shattering

pieces at peace in You

Amen.