Saturday, July 21, 2007

May I Suggest (Susan Werner)

Today I found out a woman from church died during an operation - J's passing is still very much on my mind. I read this poem and thought of my friend T, who lost *two* sons to bizarre accidents, one a car crash and the other a lightning strike - we worked together and every time we heard an ambulance siren, she would begin to tremble. I can't even imagine - our children are supposed to bury us, and not the other way around. It's easy to get lost in the abyss... which is why we should embrace Gandhi's philosophy - otherwise, it would be too painful to put one foot in front of the other each day. As Todd Snider sings, "I've learned nothing but that there is another sunrise coming all but one of the times it sets" - words to live by (pun semi-intended... <3 )

POEM: Picnic, Lightning by Billy Collins

It is possible to be struck by a
meteor or a single-engine plane while
reading in a chair at home. Pedestrians
are flattened by safes falling from
rooftops mostly within the panels of
the comics, but still, we know it is
possible, as well as the flash of
summer lightning, the thermos toppling
over, spilling out on the grass.
And we know the message can be
delivered from within. The heart, no
valentine, decides to quit after
lunch, the power shut off like a
switch, or a tiny dark ship is
unmoored into the flow of the body's
rivers, the brain a monastery,
defenseless on the shore. This is
what I think about when I shovel
compost into a wheelbarrow, and when
I fill the long flower boxes, then
press into rows the limp roots of red
impatiens -- the instant hand of Death
always ready to burst forth from the
sleeve of his voluminous cloak. Then
the soil is full of marvels, bits of
leaf like flakes off a fresco,
red-brown pine needles, a beetle quick
to burrow back under the loam. Then
the wheelbarrow is a wilder blue, the
clouds a brighter white, and all I
hear is the rasp of the steel edge
against a round stone, the small
plants singing with lifted faces, and
the click of the sundial as one hour
sweeps into the next.

QUOTE: "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." ~ Gandhi

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