I’m reading a friend’s book, Sara Bragin’s The Living in Her Dying. It’s about the time she spent with her mother as her mother was transitioning. It shows how much we need an advocate at such a time, and the learning that occurs when we show up to be with the loss of the womb in which we came.
The end of life process is with me these days as I feel the approach of a change over which I may not have control.
Last night I had one of those experiences that takes one out of their body and into awareness of so much more. My cat Tiger is getting older, and needing body warmth, comfort, and support sleeps snuggled in with us at night. When I got into bed last night, he came over with a look that lit the room, that was more than his huge eyes. I felt the gift of this livingness, this gift of being in a body for a time.
I was reminded of Thomas Merton’s words about being on a street corner, and …
“In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world. . . .
This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy to me that I almost laughed out loud. . . . I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.
Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed. . . . But this cannot be seen, only believed and ‘understood’ by a peculiar gift.”
He uses the word God. I might use the word Spirit or Light or Grace but the feeling and knowing, believing and honoring – that is the gift.
What’s happening in Ukraine is with us all. We are united in this. We feel the attacks; we share the fear and yet Tiger gave me such an invitation with his eyes, and way of being. I wake as light, flowing light, light that is both particle and wave as am I.