It’s not a subject that most of us care to consider. We, most all of us, tend to push it off, avoiding thinking about it. Shortly before my wonderful wife Marla recently passed, i tenderly said to her, “If things should happen to go south with this, death will not keep us apart for very long; death is too superficial, too shallow.”
I am very appreciative of the warm condolences within my previous blog posting and in cards and letters that people have sent to me. It means a lot.
Death is not (at all) what most people think. As Walt Whitman sagaciously wrote, “And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.” There are different kinds of death/dying. There is the death of the physical body; there is the death of a mind that merely goes through life blindly accepting things according to tradition, organizations, and leaders (who, themselves are not truly living). There is the death that permeates a mind of indifference, callousness, and narcissistic behavior. (Perhaps such a mind was never truly alive whatsoever.) So many of us assume that we are living and free; we may not be.
There is, however, a dying, a “good dying,” throughout life, that can exist, psychologically, that may truly be a very highminded, splendid, and vibrant kind of living. A wise entity, who is frequently psychologically dying to dead, stale, stagnant, second-hand thoughts, may be engaging in one of the highest forms of living. As one has often said, thoughts and words are merely symbols and are, for the most part, never the actualities that they stand for and represent. However, most of us live in (and exist through) the domain of thought/thinking. (And we perceive through the screen of thought/thinking.) It’s tragic, really, and (actually) few of us are truly living. We accept authorities and organizations that are, in themselves, rather static, barbaric, and dead. We are followers, rarely thinking and discovering for ourselves. To be second-hand, repeating what was fed into you, is what computers are essentially capable of; it is also what too many of us exclusively do. We were trained to imitate and copy… not to feel and question.
To measure your life in terms of time
may not be truly living
Slaves of space and time read poems from
from a calculated learned distance
And since real poetry is living and is dynamically immeasurable
most readers are incapable of being the read
so they go on in superficial ways that are
not nearly alive and not quite fully dead
The very next line goes from here to there
like the measured time
that you likely exist as
And a poem may come to an end
Welcome back Tom.
I somehow missed the post about Marla and I am so deeply sorry. I lost my husband, best friend, and confidante 8 and a half years ago and the wound is still raw. So, I have an idea of what you’re going through, although it’s different and profoundly personal for each one of us. Sending you strength and healing.
Thanks, Miss Parker. Time doesn’t heal with true love.
Tom, welcome back.
Thank you. 🙂
I think, therefore I am. Welcome back!
Thanks, Ken. 🙂
“slaves of space and time” do read poems from a place of separation –
lately I have been thinking a lot about time… one way to experience time is to see it as a lake and if we are truly present we can hook a fish swimming close to the surface – Your Marla is no doubt swimming close to you in peace… I am so glad that you are writing again. You have been in my thoughts and in my heart Tom.
Keep pondering about time, Sara. It’s a sign of intelligence and maturity. 🙂
agreed – Time is very mysterious – I love it when others notice!
Good to see you back Tom. It is a strange phenomenon that the more advanced a society, the more we avoid discussing death. It is, after all, a part of the life cycle, and something that we all have to face.
Yes, Peter… so-called advanced… 🙂
Good to see you back, Tom. It’s been 10 years since my wife passed, keep busy😀
I didn’t know that, Michael. So you know what it’s like…
Sure do, we were together for 35 years
Marla and i were married for 35 years.
I’m so sorry for your great loss, Tom. I lost my husband two years ago. Everyone deals with such a huge loss in their own way. I hope you are doing well and find much joy in the life you lived together and, eventually, in your future.
Thanks, Susan. It’s been very tough.
Welcome back Thomas. Missed your blogs, Your words are so true as most people go through without realizing they are alive so death to them is no different.
Yes, Francis, a lot of cadavourous people are walking around out there.
Sorry to hear about your wife. The spirit of your wife carries on with you.
Thank you Sanjotown. 🙂
Thank you for your thought- provoking post. There are indeed many ways to encounter death and opportunities to be reborn. It’s great to see you back, Tom!
Thank you, Astrid. 🙂
I thought of you recently when I posted pictures of lichen. I wondered where my fellow lichen lover could be. Good to see you back here and so sorry for your loss. Many of your followers have missed you. We hope we can continue our “mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship”, like good little lichens.
Lichen are full of magic and sharing! 🙂
Thank you for stirring my processing of death. As no two lives are alike, no two deaths are alike. I keep learning through my losses what in time some others may experience when I pass. All part of a continuing collective dynamic. Recently I lost my son. Less than 3 months from diagnosis to death. My prevailing response thus far is gratitude – for his presence in my life, for my ability to be present as his life shut down, and for the continuing connection I am experiencing. Yes, thoughts and words are merely symbols and thusly register uniquely with different receivers. I appreciate your words here – catalysts for my understanding transitions behind and ahead of me. Your photo conveys individuals connected beautifully.
So sorry about your son, Jazz. That has to be a real tough one. Marla’s mother, who is 93 years old, is having a very difficult time with Marla’s passing.
Beautiful poem. Thinking peace.
Thank you, Jane. 🙂
So glad to have you back Tom. Powerful, heartwarming, and very thought-provoking words as usual. Be well, my friend. 🙂
Much appreciated, Kym! 🙂
Your poem is thoughtful and peaceful Tom. I am happy to see you back here where some of the normalcy of life before Marla’s passing will help you heal. Take care.
Thanks much, Linda. Keep those squirrels feeling the warmth. 🙂
You’re welcome Tom. I had to give my furry friends extra peanuts today – I knew we had a few inches of snow coming this afternoon and a bigger snowfall in the forecast tomorrow. I have created two safe areas where I’ve been feeding them at the Park in order to thwart any attacks by the hawks. So far, so good – they are protected and not out in the open.
Those hawks aren’t vegetarians, are they?! 🙂
Welcome Tom, and Happy New Year
Espero que te encuentres muy bien y que tu corazón esté en paz y tranquilidad, te deseo lo mejor para este año.
Y seguir disfrutando de tus poemas y fotos!
Thank you, Marcela. Hoping you have a magical new year! 🙂
So sorry for your loss, Tom.
Much appreciated, Sheila.
So beautiful and thought provoking. I’m so sorry for your loss!🥰❤️
Thank you very much, H&S!
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I love the way you wrote this. Most people fear death but don’t realize that they may already be dead in the mind and spirit. Mentally enslaved, functioning as computer programs. you are spot on!
Yes, it’s sad really. Many assume that they are fully alive… when, all along, many are far from it.
Ya, many think death is a taboo topic.
I’m sorry for your loss sir. Take care.
Tom, because of your recent comment on my blog, I had to go through your posts to try to find if you posted about your dear wife passing. I had not realized that had happened. I’m so very sorry to hear of her death Tom. And as always am enlightened by your wise words.