Thursday, October 28, 2010

Like a Hurt, Lost, and Blinded Foal

My faith is like a single thread, stretching up from me, into blackness I cannot penetrate.

It wasn't always this way. I used to have a rope; a golden rope, that I would lean on, pull on, use to hold myself up if  I felt I was falling.

A slow erosion of reason wore against my rope, and a thread is all that remains.

So, I have a single silver thread, impossibly thin. Now I stand without aid, and without fear of falling. Still, I hold onto the thread.

Mass was held last night, at my son's religion class. I attended with him, performed all the usual rituals with him and the others in the church. I felt as though I had attached a cup to my end of the thread, and I had whispered into it, "Is anyone there?" I pressed my ear to the cup, and waited.

I'm still waiting, as I have always waited before.

...and will continue to wait, so long as a thread remains. For when it is gone, it will not be because I let go. It will be because whatever I thought it was tied to has gone.

Until another time,

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Inside This Ancient Heart

I have terrible dreams.

Lately, they've been about people dying. People I know. Sometimes individuals, sometimes couples, sometimes whole families; all dying.

But not me. I'm never the one that dies. I'm usually not even there when they die. Instead, I'm asked by the priest (rabbi, minister, etc.) to eulogize the deceased.

Each of these dreams has me going to the wake (visitation, calling, viewing, etc.) of the person (people) who has died, greeting and visiting with those who also knew him or her (them). I hear stories, all stories I've heard before, from the other mourners, and everyone has a favorite memory. We pray in whatever custom he or she (they) practiced in life. I am always the last to leave.

Then I go home (sometimes alone, sometimes to my family), and I sit down to write. I've gotten quite far into some, before I realize I'm apologizing for them. "I know that so-and-so had [some negative quality]," like, didn't share feelings well, or had an annoying speech habit that everyone but them was aware of. So, I make myself delete that, and change it to a positive story.

When a person dies, no one recounts the "bad" parts. When a person dies, we go into our memories of them with a cloth, and we buff out all the negative things, and we shine up all the positive things, until their memory glows in our minds, and we celebrate that part of them.

So...why don't we tell them while they are still alive?

Having realized this, in my dream I start to cry, and I can't write anymore. I wake up, feeling awful about anything I've ever said bad about anyone, and I steel myself to be more positive, to everyone.

My friends and family, go ahead and put me down as someone who will speak on your behalf, should you proceed me out of this life. I don't mind. In fact, I may be able to write it in my sleep.

Until another time,

P.S.  Please, play this song at my funeral.