Start with the earth and enter the womb. Find your life in hers; your supplication in her seasons; your needs in her elements. Begin to see that there is life outside of you—of your void—and love that which is not you as if you were in everything. This is God.
Find a ship and sail away to a land of your own being. Chalk sails through the air and little girls and littler boys frolic amidst a sea of sidewalk-chalk-induced fantasies, searching for the home they can store their beating heart while they run and play and imagine realities invisible to lords of cement and brick and stone. Cars drift through asphalt seas, people dodge bullets and climb the mountain of stairs awaiting their days of indoor suffocations. A bird flies through glass windows and into mirrors of distant realities where the sun gleams on water, where the darkness of the sea swims, waiting for possibilities.
Cracks in the paint. Dust in the corners. Water stains on the ceiling. Memories take shape and disappear as quickly as they are made. Never around long enough to invite to supper the next evening, memories have a way of making an appearance. But memories are cracks and dust: they return, unexpectedly, eventually.
Just beyond the horizon, the sun is rising to a quaint spring day. But here—in the sanctuary—is the setting, autumnal sun. It peeks through trees like school girls and waves goodbye like grandma when I drive down the street following a Sunday afternoon visit. The joy of autumn is in the rising and the setting of the day and the leaves upon the trees and the ground, in the glade far away—in a removed place of worship—where the ground becomes the sky, filled with the sun, and shines brightly as I crunch left and right across its infinite boundaries. The purity of aging becomes noticed in autumn: it is here we finally realise the greatness of passing.
Emotions of joy and ecstasy meet sorrow and loss—like the sky. The sky is infinite—it covers only a fraction of the outlying space of the earth—and in its infinitude lies a secret between two lovers. As the warmth of the sun melts into the atmosphere and the cooled nature of the night sky collides into that warmth, two lovers kindle a fire in a heart capable of much more than love. At this meeting, the sun and the moon exchange favours and love as they loved last evening—but with a newfound gratitude.
A place rests, deep in the woods, where lovers meet to gaze upon the sun in the earth. The two become one flesh, blending life and death, bliss and grief, into one being. It is quiet. No cracking of fallen branch or falling limb—no rustling of leaves in the soft palms of the wind—no chitter-chatter of woodland fauna—no motion but that of the loving sun overhead. A place of infinite wisdom and mercy, of pure being intended by the Divine—a place where the timely toll of life ticks away as life appears to take shape in the sky and on the earth. A cooling of the morning wind leaves the brood for the afternoon: coloured leaves and twinkling eyes in the trees and the sun, shining. A universal velocity about the life of the earth and its inhabitants—the flora and the fauna—rest in the woods. A comprehensive understanding of sentience.
Changes in the wind. The colouration of the leaves upon the branches of trees. The peeling bark of the birch outside the window. The acorn falling so far from the tree that it becomes a flower. The dandelions flowing in the wind. Leaves and pollen resting upon a spider’s web. The rising and the setting of the sun. Twinkling stars of the nighttime. Rays of light, emanating from the moon, falling upon cadences of sleeping flowers and prowling nocturnes. The chill of the midnight darkness. Dew upon the leaves and the nourishing gulps of the noonday sun. This is what it means to experience time.
Aging is watching the seasons roll by, unannounced. The rains come and go as quickly as the blizzard blusters through and the heat waves its shaking hands, back and forth, back and forth. The wind comes and the leaves go, by command of the sky, because the sky says ‘it is so’. And the earth—she rolls underneath, begging for more sunshine, more time to tan. And the winter harangues the earth for its urgency. But the autumn—she loves as quickly or as slowly as the earth might plead. Her gentle hands carry life into the void, into the vast expanse of nothingness, all for the sake of love.
Doves, cooing. Limbs, shaking. Leaves, crescendo. The earth, swelling. Tree trunks, pruning. The wind, laughing. Flower-buds wait patiently in the palms of the trees for life to take shape as you mold your hands around the earth and breathe life into it, praying your clay-bird will one day fly away.
Allow yourself to fall into the earth, to be caught up in her web of cyclical life. Let the earth be your tomb and the dirt your place of repose. Dying is as writing: we arrive at some culmination of being. The words on the page stop—there is nothing else. But what, then, of ending?
Published in the October 2015 Issue