Fascinating, Comforting, and a Little Troubling

I just finished watching the first episode of “The Story of God” with Morgan Freeman on NatGeo Channel.  This episode explored what different religions from the past and now believe happens when we die.

There were a lot of moments that had me going “Huh” or “Wow” or “That’s really fascinating.”  One such moment was learning that the ancient Egyptians believed that the afterlife of their Pharaoh was crucial, as it ensured the sun would rise each morning.  All I could think is that yes, after both of my parents passed on, the thought that they are continuing on just on the other side of the veil,  that’s pretty much the only reason I was able to get up with the sun each day.  Any thoughts otherwise and I would have given up.  It was an interesting connection with this ancient civilization for me to think about.

It was, however, the story towards the end, that blew me away.  A couple have designed a robot (head and shoulders only for now) that will be a storage unit for memories, beliefs, and values of someone who has passed.  Morgan Freeman met the android which replicated one of the creators.  It was eerie, listening to her speak (the android, not the person).  The idea is that this will allow people and their thoughts, stories, and memories, to live on forever.

Ahem.

I was not able to choose the time and day that each of my parents ceased existing as they had before and left this world.  I am thankful it was not my responsibility to do so.  Imagine, though, that we had had the opportunity, prior to their passing, to create such an android?  How long would we want them to hang around?  Let’s say my children have one such robot made of “me.”  Who would be the person to turn me off and let me go?  Finally?  (Actually, I can practically hear my children, “Somebody go in there and turn Mama off.  She’s making me crazier than she did when she was really alive.”)  Seriously though, I cannot imagine making that choice about someone I love, robot or no.  And I mean, you figure, enough generations will pass, and then the robot would be someone no one really knows anymore…..someone’s going to have to turn G’Ma off eventually.  And let her go forever.

I shudder at the thought of all this.

I appreciate technology and all of its life-saving and life-protecting ways.  But life-preserving?  Like this?  I really hope this doesn’t become a thing.  I cannot imagine what it would be like–all the discussions and arguments about who gets “custody” or has to take “custody” and yes, in reality, when does the whole thing become mundane, and someone has to literally flip a switch and turn the robot, the “essence” of their loved one, OFF.  Or refuse to pay to have him or her “repaired.”

Just no.

Tonight I’m thankful for the mystery of life and the mystery of death, and I give thanks for the beautiful conversations Mr. Freeman had that, with the exception of the robot, brought my soul hope and peace and joy.

Love to all.

Story of God Morgan Freeman

“Story of God” with Morgan Freeman, courtesy of NatGeo Channel http://channel.nationalgeographic.com

 

the extinguished light

I stand cloaked in the words

that threaten to envelop me

if I do not give them breath and life

 

and still I stand

hesitant

unsure of the tempest

that will come

if they are given voice

 

for though I love the rain,

the storm both frightens and thrills me,

I seek shelter but do not cover my eyes

 

fascinated

intrigued

terrified

 

and then the darkness comes

as it always does

and the light is blown out,

it must be saved for others

for another

dark and cold

night

 

but not for this life

it doesn’t matter

she won’t need it anymore, they say

 

they don’t realize

the candle won’t be as bright

the next time they seek its glow

 

one less person to reflect

the radiance

 

and the tears fall

on the unhallowed ground

and no one grieves anymore

 

IMG_6250

 

 

 

farewell to a friend

lives joined one October day

so many years ago

with friends gathered round,

smiles on the faces of all

but none bigger than their own

 

years spent with laughing

and loving and cheering on their

favorite football team

rolling tide every chance they got

and cheering each other on as well–

if there were ever two greater

dream builders

for each other

I cannot imagine

 

love, laughter, and a whole lot of sass,

teasing and compromising

that’s what I imagine from behind

the closed doors of their life

 

but I do know what I saw–

a man who loved a woman

and she who reflected it and gave all that love

right back to him

 

and now the mirror is draped

in darkness

as are our hearts

for this fine man took his last breath

and was healed

as all our hearts broke

 

so many lives

all the richer

for having known his

gentle, strong spirit

 

the girls he loved will miss him

all the babies and family he adored

the memory of his laughter and smile

with bring both comfort and tears

and all the stories will be told

and told again

to keep him close

 

this Gift, the Gift my sisterfriend was given

as she gave him her heart

she deserved the best

and she had him–

only for way too short a while

 

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RIP, BP.  You are loved and missed, and I am better for having known you.  

The Miracle of Mostly Dead

At the end of last summer, the cherry tomato plant I’d put in a pot on my front porch and watched grow, withered away in the late summer heat.  Exhausted from its efforts to grow, bloom, and bear fruit all pretty much simultaneously, the stem and leaves browned, dried up, and crumpled back down toward the earth.

It was gone.

Being the avid gardener I am *ahem*, the “empty” pot sat on the porch all winter.  Rain, snow flurries, and various and assorted little critters found themselves landing in the pot before moving on.

As spring I arrived I had grand intentions of planting more “summer” vegetables in my pots.  The best I did was create our fairy garden.  While that feeds our hearts and souls, nothing was planted that would feed our bodies.

And then, one day, I saw a sprig of green rising up from the twisted brown tentacles of last year’s plant. I wasn’t sure what it was until, on a whim, while I was watering all my other “front porch greenery” I decided to water the little green twig in the soil.  The smell was unmistakable.  There’s nothing like the smell of tomato plants.

Well I’ll be.

How beautiful is this, where once all there had been was darkness and what looked like nothingness?

How beautiful is this, where once all there had been was darkness and what looked like nothingness?

That little plant wasn’t dead.  It was mostly dead.  (There’s a difference, I know–we’ve watched “The Princess Bride” over and over many times.)

And mostly isn’t all the way.  Bless it.

It quietly came back.  And today, this happened.

The cherry tomatoes our Princess harvested today.

The cherry tomatoes our Princess harvested today.

Isn’t that amazing?

You can take away from this that if you are a lazy gardener and let things slide, every now and again you might get lucky.

Or you could think about how amazing it is that there was still life under all that darkness, all that death–resilient–life that didn’t look like life as we know it but it was there all the same, gaining strength to blossom and grow and bear sweet and beautiful fruit all over again.

Either way.  Up to you.

But yeah.  Life.  There even when you can’t see it.

I needed that reminder.  That’s the stuff miracles are made of.  Believing in something you cannot see.  Believing in the possibility.

Love to all.