Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I was still pondering the nature of the quick and the dead when I went to the meeting last night. I like this meeting. I like the variety of people there and what I hear from them. Some of what I hear is wickedly funny, some is sad, some is perplexing, but I come away with something real and to ponder. I was glad to be alive. I wanted to hug a bunch of my fellows and say to them, "We are the fortunates who have been given a chance to work on recovery. That is something to be thankful for."
But I didn't do that. I shook hands and kept my thoughts to myself. At the ice cream "meeting after the meeting", some friends and I talked about our sail boats, books we are reading and some other light stuff. It wasn't until we were leaving that I mentioned to a friend about the death, the funeral and the "whys".
When I got home, I listened to my wife tell me that the meeting, which the deceased used to attend, was filled with those who were angry about the suicide. They were also asking the "why" question. I don't think that there is an answer to "why?". He may have lost his spirituality, he may have lost his mind, he may have lost money in the market...it all may be true. I don't need to ponder the question any longer.
So I am letting that go. And tonight I'm going to go rowing in the harbor on a clear and cold evening. Every stroke of the oar will remind me that I am alive. The following is one of my favorite poems and says it best:
If you put your hands on this oar with me,
they will never harm another, and they will come to find
they hold everything you want.
If you put your hands on this oar with me, they would no longer
lift anything to your
mouth that might wound your precious land –
that sacred earth that is your body.
If you put your soul against this oar with me,
the power that made the universe will enter your sinew
from a source not outside your limbs, but from a holy realm
that lives in us.
Exuberant is existence, time a husk.
When the moment cracks open, ecstasy leaps out and devours space;
love goes mad with the blessings, like my words give.
Why lay yourself on the torturer’s rack of the past and the future?
The mind that tries to shape tomorrow beyond its capacities
will find no rest.
Be kind to yourself, dear – to our innocent follies.
Forget any sounds or touch you knew that did not help you dance.
You will come to see that all evolves us.
~ Rumi ~