“Because I could not stop for death, he kindly stopped for me. The carriage held just but ourselves, and immortality.” – Emily Dickinson
We are all of us bone and blood, flesh and spirit, making sense of death in an ocean of the living. To those who remain, who stand still, we mourn not knowing what else to do when the bell tolls and we bear sacred witness to the passing which marks the end of a life once lived.
Sitting by the bedside of the dying gifts you with the clarity of perspective. You dance with memories tasting deep the grief as life still lingers, however slightly, watching the light fade like the last embers of a once brilliant flame fighting an oncoming storm.
The concept of time seems lost on us as years become moments and lifetimes merge together blending on the canvas creating a masterpiece we can only keep in retrospect. Time is a thief, they say; Death must be his willing mistress.
Time, our faithful and constant companion through each day we live on this planet. Rarely recognized, hardly appreciated fully and never lasting long enough to dance our way through all the vivid colors on the palette. We let the sands of time slip through open fingers moving hastily through each day not knowing any other way.
We fixate on the fleeting, the temporary becoming barriers on our path forward. We make mountains out of moments best left to the pages of the past. It’s only in the end when we look back we see in glaring clarity where we would’ve loved deeper, where we should have lingered a little longer, and where we should have spent our I love yous a little more freely. We see where we should have let go sooner, held on a little tighter and said the words we wanted when the moment was at hand.
Maybe we have to sit in the shadow of Death to bring back new eyes to see our life in a different light. Maybe the darkness gives us precious sight and invaluable realization into the truth of our existence. Maybe this awareness is gifted of the sacred union of Time and Death, the reminder to awaken and to revel in each second we are awarded as there is so much more life yet to live.
We are but a moment in a vast sea of time, each heart beating a unique purpose and melody into the stars. We are not meant to be embodied here forever because we are already eternal, we who write the pages of time with song, with words, and with inspiration.
Yes, all of it is temporary, it can all fall, and at some point it will. It will crumble and scatter to the four winds. Yet, even though the temple does not stand forever, the sacred song within its walls will live on.
Somewhere out there, hundreds of years down the road, there will beat a heart inspired by what was lost. They will take up pen or brush or song and they will weave another thread in the eternal tapestry that we call life. Moved to action they will create anew some new unfolding chapter in the story of the world. They will burn with passion, consumed with purpose. Each day they will drive forward, hopefully appreciative of the unknown Time gifted.
We live on connected eternally in a vast sea of time never really ending and never really beginning. And though we all sit with Death every day never knowing when the bell will toll, each day we will rise and ask Time to give us just one more dance.
So isn’t it time we got out there and cut a rug?