Thursday, April 06, 2006

Transient




Recall with me, for a moment, how it feels to stand before something enormous--
Like the sea, when the beach is empty; or the sky at night full of stars over a quiet plain.



I stand- awestruck- at the vastness that I am trying to comprehend, and yet I know that I can not comprehend it. The enormity of the ocean, or sky, or mountainside, seems to fill up my being- as if these that take up so much space must claim my space as well.

My mind, especially when viewing the ocean, likes to use the word "nothing" to describe it, as in, "nothing but sand and water as far as the eye can see", but of course, it's NOT "nothing". It's actually everything, or everything at the moment. The sea is not empty, nor is the sky, nor are the mountains. And when standing before them they eclipse and absorb me too.

Is this the "something" in our life experience that prepares us for death?
When I think about death and the finality of it I have the same feelings as when I stand before the ocean...It's huge, it's enormous...it will, or can, swallow me.

I ponder death...I peer, though not too closely, because I am not able.
And even if I were able I'm still not sure I would; and what I think I can see is deceiving.
It seems tranquil and quiet, but I strongly suspect otherwise.

What I know of death is the same as what a person knows about the ocean from a photograph...or better still, what they don't know, what they can not see.
The vastness, the depth, all the huge and tiny things swimming just beneath the suface, things that one could never imagine, existing right there under the rippling blue green water.

One of my childhood friends died almost 3 years ago, she was 33. She had battled cancer off and on since she was 12, and finally the treatment caught up with her. Her radiation therapy had caused a far worse cancer to develop some 20 years after it was administered. She passed into death, and when I saw her--in her casket-- this friend I had loved and laughed with, she was no longer there. What remained was a shell...her spirit was gone. She got caught up in the tide and was swept out, past the surf, past the big waves...way out there...where I can not reach her.

Sometimes I think of her and of all the things we learned together as children...and I wish I knew, or understood, what she knows now.
I stand at the shore and I feel so small. I stand under the midnight sky and I feel so tiny and insignificant...so transient.

Is it work, or family, or love that makes us feel more permanent and less temporary?
Or is it simply that we long for the country of our eternity...which is not here...and we will never feel as though we quite fit it because we are not supposed to?
Tell me what you think...I'd really like to know.

9 comments:

Gary said...

Thangs for stopping by my blog and commenting. I like yours. It's very warm and very inspirational.

Anonymous said...

I think this was one of the best blogs I've ever read. I was remided of a story by my grandma...her name was Laura Lee...who once passed on a similar bit of wisdom to me

Valerie - Riding Solo said...

You got it right. I can not explain my view of an afterlife with the words we have. I can only offer you the tiny piece of it I could comprehend.

Many things are only understood by experiencing them.

It's the love we share that stays behind when we go. It's the love we have that goes with us when we leave.

Everything else is matter, love and wisdom and our own true self is all that we have of our own.

Mayden's Voyage said...

Thank you Gary...yours is a wonderful blog to visit :)

And thank you guest...there is nothing in the world like a grandma, or a grandpa, to make a bitter pill easier to swallow, or a difficult thing simpler to understand.

And Val...I know in my heart you are so right. Love endures...all kinds, and in so many ways. The real damage we do in this life is when we withhold our love from another person, even if it is just a touch or a warm greeting.
I have been going to a Retirement home once a month to speak (mine is the gift of encouragement) and spend time with the residents. I feel embarassed by saying so because it sounds like a "look at me-see how good I am" kind of thing and I really dislike that...but anyway, I am the one who gets blessed everytime I go.
I touch these old old people, hold their hand, or rub their shoulder, ask them about themselves...where did they grow up, how many kids and grandkids...etc. The last time I was there (tuesday) I was just overcome with how much I cared about these people. It almost made me cry! I know that even though it isn't a lot that I give them, I give it with love, and one day soon, some of them will pass on. I would just like them to know that in this end stage of their life, they were worth knowing and loving...even though they have nothing to give in return, EXCEPT that I can tell already that they LOVE me :)
It is such a sweet thing to be a part of...

Joe said...

I really enjoyed this one. About the ocean and the sky; I feel something similar to that. I feel a oneness with it though. Although I am but a tiny part of nature, I am still a part of it and one with it. As far as death is concerned, I only hope god lets me keep my mind.

luxlucisvita said...

sometimes...I feel i'm just a tourist..i really don't fit...don't belong anywhere...like..like i'm excited to be somewhere else...someday...

luxlucisvita said...

yuhuuu!...how are you????...came back to check on what you might have!

Malinda777 said...

Girl, sometimes you hit a true home run, and I think this post was just that. I always love to stop by here and get a breath of freshly inspired air :)

Anonymous said...

It is so exciting to be part of something so big. To know and have peace about where you fit and how important you are in the midst of God's vast world. Security for me is in knowing confidently that I am eternal in Christ Jesus and that my time here is not without purpose.