On Dying and other Autumnal considerations

Posted 11.27.18

SHAWVILLE, QC | On Dying and other Autumnal considerations

Editorials can beon many topics, some more immediate than others, but their relevance has a lot to do with space and time -- where we are and when it is at the time. With that in mind, and given that we are smack in the middle of autumn, the season of endings, my editorial headspace has been commandeered by some sad news given recently to a family member by his doctor.

All of our family has been in turmoil, as would every family under similar circumstances. And there are many families facing this very starkness of reality every day; it is to them as well as my own family that I record this unusual editorial below.

These are a few reflections on our final autumns, on the end of life. We're all heading there, so sooner or later these lines might provide some understanding and, through that, comfort to all our readers -- but let's hope it's later!

Our religion, upbringing, education, common sentiments, and beliefs provide an "understanding" of life's end, too. The simple ones here are obviously in addition to the official and established views. They are not arguments.

The mystic, Rumi, wrote a lot about what he called "the science of poverty"; poverty, meaning our human condition in the face of the cosmos around us. From that, I wrote the following thoughts.

Kill the cow of your ego, says Rumi
So your spirit can take to life.

Your body is the unripe you, says Rumi.
Waiting to be born is a truer you.

Dying is only sugar, says Rumi.
Real sweetness you pass into.

Dying is diving, says Rumi
Into the pool of heaven.

plus a few others…

Bridges, bridges everywhere
There's one to cross,
Takes a lifetime.

Dying makes you a miner.
Yes, go and seek
The gold!

For the real lover
Dying is little different
From staying.

The present world
is just
an engrossing game.

Your body is you,
…in training.

A seed in its fruit,
never released,
has no rest.

Have I died before…
recalling nothing, not a shred?

The one who dies
is he or she
who has lived.

Our greatest task
Before we die?
Forgive ourselves.

Willing ourselves
to be more than human,
makes us human.

…and for any season

Stop waiting
It's well underway,
This life of yours.

Wherever you are, says Rumi,
whenever -- be the soul
of that place.


Copyright © 2018 Fred Ryan/Log Cabin Chronicles/11.27.18