Saturday, May 19, 2012

Griefwalker





Long, braided pigtail
down the center
of his back,
eyes that see, a smile,
an air of calm,
he lifts the paddle high,
then dips it deep.


The canoe is hand-hewn,
of fresh cedar,
caulked with tree sap and resin.


The bow parts the waters.
On shore, tree roots
overhang the bank
and line the shore,
dark sentinels,
as he glides past,
forest as sepulchre.


"To truly love your life,
you have to embrace death,"
he murmurs,
as he paddles along.
"The crucible of
making human beings
is death.


"The cradle of
your love of life
is knowing that it ends."


So, today,
may I love the lake ripples,
the rounded hills,
the summer day,
the open door,
the bee at the flower,
the creak of the porch swing -
may I love my life -
just that much more
than usual,
knowing time is fleeting,
and the arc of the planet
is tilting me 
ever closer
towards
Nirvana.


I watched the Canada National Film Board Griefwalker the other day, which was like a meditation, so calm is the wisdom teacher , Stephen Jenkinson, of Toronto. This man, who takes his wisdom from the Old Ways, speaks, writes and teaches living deeply and dying with awareness, through the Orphan Wisdom School.  Stephen has made it his life's work to change the way we die from denial and fear into the understanding that death  is an essential passage, a part of life. Being conscious of the finite nature of life helps us to live much more consciously and be more fully present while we are still here.






He has also written an interesting looking book or journal for dying people, titled How It All Could Be: A Workbook for Dying People and Those Who Love Them. Cool.

8 comments:

  1. Lovely poem filled with wisdom. No form of spirituality makes as much sense to me as the Old Ways of Native Americans. (I suspect that includes all the early peoples of the North American continent and perhaps beyond. After all, there were no "countries" when this was their land.)

    Your Griefwalker sounds as though he offers one more example.

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  2. I do agree that the cradle of your love of life is knowing that it ends. If life went on forever, there would not be as much to appreciate......

    Pleasure that goes on forever, I don't believe, REMAINS as pleasurable for long. After a while it would become 'old hat.'

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  3. i was in that canoe, too. so exquisite. wisdom is easy to recognize when it is spoken. our culture is so frightened of death. consumerism hinges of ignoring death. i continue to unlearn this, and continue to embrace the reality and beauty of death. thank you.

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  4. I was swept with the beauty and simplicity and wisdom of your words today. I love this post...and will check out the links here.

    Have a great long weekend ~

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  5. "To truly love your life,
    you have to embrace death,"
    he murmurs,
    as he paddles along.
    "The crucible of
    making human beings
    is death.


    "The cradle of
    your love of life
    is knowing that it ends."

    i absolutely love the wisdom of his quotes...i will def be adding his works to me list...i love your own takings in the focusing on the ripples...as i sit in the canoe with you...

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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!