Stand Naked in the Wind and Melt into the Sun
I received news that a dear spiritual friend and student of mine has died suddenly, at the age of 30.
Although thousands of people pass from this earth daily, in my corner of the planet, this was an earthquake. There are things to attend to, on many levels, and so I won’t be posting this week, and perhaps for awhile.
I went looking for poems on death that I felt reflected the powerful and lyrical spirit of this beautiful person, and after much hemming and hawing (because I was hoping to find something less well known) ended up with Khalil Gibran’s classic On Death.
Then Almitra spoke, saying, “We would ask now of Death.”
And he said:
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
I know some of you that read this blog are also grappling with the death of this individual. Feel free to post your own favorite poems or quotes (that goes for anyone actually – this is part of how we process these things, I feel.)