i know i’m not supposed to be. afraid of dying. as a christian i’m supposed to be brave because i believe in a God who’s overcome death but i’m still afraid. does this make me less of a christian? or just more honest?
there’s a sea of bent backs in church, farmers with brown necks and gray hairs and they bend further during prayer. and we’re born bent and we die bent. perhaps the door to heaven is very small? and the closer we get to the ground, the more able we are to enter the higher places.
i’ve never really understood death, but i’ve gone to a lot of funerals.
i have no grandmothers alive anymore, and i miss them. my Grandma Dow was as bent as they come. like a seed, all curled up and weighted down. her fingers looked like she’d kept them in dishwater for 90 years. and she looked worried even when she smiled, but she also looked like a little girl. as lamott says, we’re all the ages we’ve ever been.
Grandma never stopped missing her brother, the one who died in war, and she is probably running in a park with him right now. maybe they’re drinking milkshakes. what do you do in heaven?
it lasts forever, this eternal life.
that’s a lot of something that i don’t know about.
i don’t even know how to live here. i spend too much time pretending i know, and not enough time just admitting to being lost.
so i’m trying to sit in the sunshine more with the people i love because this much i know: life is love. you can’t go wrong if you love somebody. and the more you love somebody, the more you die to yourself, so in many ways, i do know death. and it’s not scary. it’s probably the most beautiful thing in the world.
this is what you should do: love the earth and sun and animals,
despise riches, give alms to everyone who asks,
stand up for the stupid and crazy,
devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants,
argue not concerning God,
have patience and indulgence toward the people . . .
reexamine all you have been told in school or church or in any book,
dismiss what insults your very soul,
and your flesh shall become a great poem. (walt whitman)
*you? are you as scared as i am of dying? why/why not?*
861. people who show me grace when i’ve lost count of how many things i’m thankful for (honestly? i guess at what number i’m at each week :))
862. the possibility of camping with my agent on labor day weekend at the wild goose festival
863. joey calling aiden his brother
864. an art show this coming weekend
865. one book off to press; the other nearly finished editing.
866. kasher beginning to crawl
867. potty-training jin
868. endorsers for the book (and what a great crowd of witnesses…)
869. saving a baby bird with trent on date night, and helping that bird find his way home
870. campfires, marshmallows and sticky kisses