Of Death and Love and All Those Things

What do you do during your father’s last days? I heard his voice, timid, but firm. He was an English teacher, dedicated to his craft and passionate for the language itself.

“Write it down.” On a visceral level, from some place deep, I could feel his urging for me to speak. He has always been, on some level untold, my mystery’s keeper. In my mind’s eye as he lay fast asleep, I could see his form emerge. He twitched and swirled, unwilling to say more. I lurched forward, daring to stare into the blackness of his eyes. He refused to return my glare.

Used with permission, Anderson Rian/Unsplash

Writing has been the one solace in my life. The cadence of words that bleed meaning into Truth. The assured response to things we don’t understand. The way toward something that keeps us going when we don’t know how. The piercing, the surging, the utter forbearance of all we were meant to be.

But who are we in a world that has left us so bare? Naked. Alone. Afraid to face That Which Is.

We are all doing our best with what we have available to us. The human experience is one enriched with pain and grace. Anyone who has loved, anyone who has ever cared, knows of which I speak.

In the span of a lifetime spent looking for answers, I have none now.

Dear friends departed. Loved Ones going soon. A one-way ticket to the Out of There place. It is haunting and relieving and agonizing too.

Each day our personal bank account of time bleeds one unit gone. Until that moment, when we are too.

In the twilight of my kitchen – randomly spaced between the Here and Now, I told a friend today – whose life spans about forty years – that I have lived more days now than the ones I have left.

It was an odd and delicious experience. She nodded, unknowing of which I truly speak. You don’t know until you do. And there – in the blink of a human eye —  you settle down into knowing what you never wished to as well.

Inching along the precipice of my father’s last days, I see what a gift this life has been. The seriosity of whatever has called us to stress dims into the background of meaninglessness. Of soundlessness. Of a silence from whence we come.

I smile. Then lift a hand to the sky.

Whoever called us here must surely know what to do.

I surely do not.

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