My heart feels wide open, bruised, yet tender after the Celebration of Life ceremony for a dear friend. I contemplate how some of us proceed towards death with a tremendous fight, many with a persistent denial and if we are lucky, we greet the inevitable with a welcoming, ‘Ahh, there you are.’ Souls depart in scorching unexpected flashes, others in painfully slow increments. However we leave, whatever our beliefs are surrounding death, gifts are bestowed in glowing memories to those who love us, to those whom we love, in our infinite connection.
On my birthday you set up your tipi in our back yard.
In its cavern,
like a dark womb
we build a fire,
its belly glowing with the light of a thousand candles.
Friends circle under the canopy held in place by ridgepoles,
twenty saplings lashed together
as ribs from a great beast,
reach through the smoke hole into firmament.
But you remained outside, a nomad
guitar in hand, silhouette etched in the door flap
Appeared as a wizard
tracing your source to constellations above.
Did you intuit this slow letting go?
Know even then your body’s temporary home
bones but a lever reaching for the cosmos
while we sat on the dirt floor
listening to your melodies greet the night sky,
us thinking you would always be singing.