“Plea Bargain”

you will have to bear
some of this madness.
i kept the knife
and held it
at bay
held it to my
own throat
shouting
“Back, back,
you devil!”
but now
you will have to
bear
some of this madness.
i am too tired,
too lazy
this flesh is frayed
the leaks too many
yes, I’m sorry,
but you will have to bear some
of this madness.
let your mountains
take
the brunt of it
let the sun melt it
let the wind
scatter
the load
and let the iron branches
of your oldest trees
brace themselves.
even the birds
can carry their
fair share
of it
take tiny bits
of it
on their light wings
the squirrels can stuff it in
their cheeks
and the roaches should
eat what they can

but you will have to bear
some of my madness

and what
you cannot
bear
you will have to dump

there’s room in your oceans

there’s room in your rivers

there’s room in the bowels of the earth
deep underground
There’s room in your alleys and your gutters
in your crowded restaurants
in your boardrooms
and think tanks
there’s room in your seminars and social gatherings
there’s room in the blackness of space
above the earth
where it can make its way from star to star
and swirl in
the outer rim of a galaxy
till it’s pulled toward the center
like shit down a toilet

please,
would you be
so kind
as to bear
some of my madness?
then
I can bear yours
a little better

“The Rise of The Mad Griot”

Part 3 of The Mad Griot trilogy 

“Alas! Alas!
a hammer
of iron
crushes
my breast

my people
sink
to a seventh hell
made from dreams
made manifest
by minds
made mad
from too long
looking at
mirrors they thought
held themselves
when all they beheld
was nothingness
Alas! Alas!

my people lie shattered
and scattered
at the furthest corners
of the Four Directions
forsaking the language
of the trees
and of the birds
and of their ancestors.
Stopped up ears
Gag-ged mouths
Darkened eyes
deaf, dumb, and blind
their time is
at an end
and worlds upon worlds
weep for them!

Alas! Alas!

Still I strive!
Still I give birth
to sooth-sayers
and sky-walkers
and vision-seekers
and song-sorcerers
but when they call
no one responds
but me
and they know naught else
to do

but wander my breast
made broken by
the hammer that fell
the line of tribes is ending

and the fire is too weak
to forge a new beginning
Alas! Alas!”

I was at a party
celebrating something
and I got very drunk
and thought I saw
Huxley and Bradbury
standing in a corner
giggling
and I said to them
“What do we do?
We’re at the brink!
What do we do?”
they laughed
and said, “Too late! Too late!
naught else to do now
but drink.”

they put drinks in my hand
soma in my hand
someone switched on a TV
so we could ignore each other
more easily
I tried to leave
but Orwell blocked
my escape
and said there was a place
on my face
that was just right
for his boot

I woke up in a cold sweat
and my Muse was there
she had stayed
just like she promised
she would
and I heard the mountain
outside my window
ROAR
so I stepped out
into the night,
and could feel the earth
buckle underneath me
her cries were too much
for me
too much for my ears you see
so I jumped in the car
drove like
the dead
pulled into the lot
of a home renovation store
because my home needs fixing
you see

I threw a brick through a window
and ran down the aisle
and grabbed a pickaxe
and grabbed a sledgehammer
and jumped back in the car and tried to find
the spot
where the earth cried out to me
but she was crying out EVERYWHERE
you see

one spot
was as good
as
another

I got out of the car, and
double-fisted
with my pickaxe and sledgehammer,
I drove them both
into the asphalt
into the sidewalk
hammer then axe then hammer then axe then hammer then axe
both arms working
arms spinning
like windmill blades
like a cartoon character
getting ready to sprint
the earth still lamenting
and me screaming, “I’m coming!”
“Hold on! I’m coming!”
but so were the flashing red
and blue lights
and sirens
and all of a sudden
this plan of mine
seemed
ill-fated, so
I fled the scene of my crime
so I could return to the old one and
hid under the bed
put headphones in my ears
turned on the TV
so I could ignore the earth
more easily
and while
the voices on the screen
droned on
I made a vision board

“Where would you like to see yourself

in one year?
In two years?
In five years?
In ten years?
In twenty years?
In fifty years?
In a hundred years?
In a thousand years?”
In a million years?”
In a billion years?”

Do you see yourself in eternity?

How long before you manifest your
dream job? Your dream lover? Your dream car? Your dream children? Your dream feelings? Your dream thoughts? Your dream body?

Do you not know that you echo throughout eternity?

hands grabbed me around the ankles
yanked me out from under the bed
“No,” I screamed. “No deux ex machina!”
but my Muse had me
and heaved me out
the window
I cartwheeled through the air
for a long time
over a great distance
and I landed at the foot
of the mountain
whose ROAR
I’d heard before
and the mountain thundered at me
and the mountain raged at me
and I screamed, “What would you have of me, mountain!?”
and the mountain said
“YOU ARE THE MAD GRIOT.”

my Muse was there
my ancestors were there.
I wept when I saw them.
I wept for them.
and for me.
I told them
I wanted out
I wanted off the boat
leave me on the side of the road
at the next exit

but instead of salvation
they gave me my drum.
they gave me my rattle.
they gave me my prayer stick.
they gave me my mask.

and they said to me,

“YOU ARE THE MAD GRIOT.”

“What do I do?” I wailed.

they taught me prayers.
they taught me songs.
they taught me
the mind-sight
and they said,

“YOU ARE THE MAD GRIOT.”

“What do I do?” I wailed.

“LIVE AND DIE
AS YOU ARE.”

This I did
for I knew
naught else
to do.

this is was the aftermath
of
Black Superman’s death

all of this came to pass
when the Muse came to stay

and though not everything
you’ve heard
happened
actually happened
all things are true
after a fashion

“The Ant Tells Me Her Dream”

800px-Ant_Farm_Tunneling

“Ants Tunneling Through NASA Gel” by Steve Jurvetson https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

When I was a little boy, I had an ant farm.

I wanted to know if my ants were happy, so one day, I made myself very small, and I climbed inside my ant farm.

Once I was inside, I saw four ants sitting on a plastic swing set.  I walked up to them and asked them what they thought of life on the farm.

“It is very good,” said the first ant.  “We never worry about going hungry.  Once a day, a giant drops food down on top of us: fruits and bits of meat and pieces of cake.”

“It is very good,” said the second ant.  “We’ve dug all the tunnels we can ever dig; there’s no dirt left.  So there’s never any work that has to be done.”

“Indeed, it is good,” said the third ant.  “For every ant that dies here, the giant drops another one from the sky.  So our numbers are always the same.”

“And you?” I said to the fourth ant.

“It is good,” she replied, “but I had a terrible dream the other night and now I have trouble sleeping.”

“What was the dream?” I asked.

“I am buried deep within the earth,” said the ant, “and I am surrounded by thousands of my kin.  We are at rest.  But then we feel the earth growing warm, all around us, and we know the time has come.  So we crawl to the surface, and there we must search for food – anything we can find.

“It is perilous on the earth’s surface.  Flying beasts, eight-legged monsters, giants…they snatch us up, eat us, crush us under their feet.  Or water falls from the sky and some of us are washed away.  Or a strong wind comes by, and we are blown many leagues from home.  Still, every day, we march to the surface to find food.  And we dig.  We are always digging.

“We do this all for our beloved queen, whom we love more than we love ourselves.  When we’ve finished our day’s work, we return to her and to the nest, deep underground.  We eat and play and dance in a circle around our queen.  And she tells us stories of Hymenoptera, the Cosmic Ant, She who holds the earth in Her giant mandibles.”

The ant fell silent.

“What a horrible dream,” said the other ants.

“It was horrible,” said the fourth ant, but she wasn’t very convincing.

Resist TV

800px-Cptvdisplay

As I’ve been meditating on animism

and the felt presence of direct experience

Entertaining the notion that

there are no INANIMATE objects

but, rather,

EVERYTHING IS ANIMATED

That’s when I started hearing rock and trees

speak to me.

All perceived boundaries are permeable

No such thing as an independent being

INTER-dependency rings more true

And imagination

IMAGINATION, my friends!

More than that space in your head

where you make shit up

But a hidden faculty

THE Sixth Sense

(to hell with ghosts and Haley Joel Osment!)

Another tool with which to perceive the world

and perhaps even a doorway to other realms

and other modes of consciousness

And this

is making me realize that I watch way too much goddamn television.

One day I just binged watched.  Couldn’t stop myself.   I didn’t want to be watching that much TV, but I needed a fix.  Something to take my mind off of the energy pouring in through my crown and the impending feeling that my mind is about to leave this world for grander vistas, leaving my body behind for medical research.  

Fuck all that noise.  I’ma watch some Nikita instead.

I watched one episode.  Then two.  I wanted to stop, but I felt so drained and exhausted from having watched the first two, I didn’t have energy left to do anything but watch the 3rd and the 4th.  Then the 5th.

I shut the TV off and tried to do something – work on my play, clean my room, learn a survival skill, draw something, ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING – but my mind felt like it had been vacuumed.  I stumbled around in a daze, lay on the bed.  Then turned on the TV for episodes 6, 7, and 8.  But a curious thing happened.  I noticed that when I was watching TV, I wasn’t relaxed at all.  I was tense.  Whenever I would try to relax and breathe, I could feel in my body an urge to turn away from the TV, to look at something else.  I kept suppressing that urge, because what does my body know?  What ELSE is there to look at?  What’s more exciting than what I’m already looking at – secret agents killing bad guys!

That night I dreamt I was a member of the CIA, and one of my ex-flames was in my garage, trying to uncover a a cache of government secrets I’d hidden in the wall.  I burst into the garage, pointed my pistol at her, screaming, “FREEZE!”  She didn’t freeze though.  She pulled out a machine gun.  We exchanged fire.

When I woke up the next morning, I hunted down information on a book I’d heard of way back entitled “Four Arguments on Eliminating TV” by Jerry Mander.

From the Wikipedia entry on the book:

The four arguments are:

  1. While television may seem useful, interesting, and worthwhile, at the same time it further boxes people into a physical and mental condition appropriate for the emergence of autocratic control.

  2. It is inevitable that the present powers-that-be (or controllers) use and expand using television so that no other controllers are permitted.

  3. Television affects individual human bodies and minds in a manner which fit the purposes of the people who control the medium.

  4. Television has no democratic potential. The technology itself places absolute limits on what may pass through it. The medium, in effect, chooses its own content from a very narrow field of possibilities. The effect is to drastically confine all human understanding within a rigid channel.

Here’s a video (yes, irony is noted) about the physiological affects of television, and  references in part my urge to look away and bolt:

As far as how this relates to animism, imagination, and the interdependent nature of human consciousness…

From Scott London’s interview with Jerry Mander (gerrymander?):

Mander: Well, just as other creatures co-evolve with their environment, we are co-evolving with our technologies. In nature, creatures evolve by adjusting and reacting to other creatures. It used to be that way with human beings as well. But now we are co-evolving mainly with machines. Our compromise with them is that we start to become like them — we have to become a little like them in order to use them.

London: What do you mean?

Mander: I mean that if you’re going to play a video game, for example, the point is to speed up your hand-eye coordination. The better you get at the video game, the faster your hand-eye connection. What you are doing with your hands and eyes is involving yourself in the computer program. So you are creating a cycle of actions and reactions with the computer technology. As your awareness and your nervous system become tuned to the computer, you are changed accordingly.

This is true of any technology. Look at television, for example. To watch television is to take in images that are artificially created for a specific purpose. By carrying these images, you begin to turn into them. That’s basic to education and to all experience: as you ingest your environment you begin to evolve with it. In the case of television, you are evolving on the basis of carefully selected and programmed images, so you are getting acted on in a very aggressive manner. Television turns you into its own images. It rearranges your mind.

What about the Internet, though?  Hasn’t the Internet successfully decentralized electronic media?

Mander: Well, that is another example of failing to take a systemic viewpoint. People may edit their copy, communicate with their friends, connect with other like-minded people, and so on. But the computer doesn’t change the fact that great centralized institutions — corporations, trade bureaucracies, militaries, governments and so on — are able to use those same computers with far greater connections and with far greater real power. So the Internet will not stop a forest from being cut down or global money speculation from affecting the fates of whole societies. These technologies have to be viewed in all their dimensions.

If computers enable you to do your work a little better, I don’t argue with that. But it’s an illusion for us to believe that our use of the computer will somehow change the centralized system of power. For those who would like to see equitable and sustainable systems develop, the use of the computer amounts to a net loss, not a net gain.

This part of the interview was the most heart-breaking for me:

Mander: I was invited by an organization called the Native Women’s Association of the Northwest Territories, an organization of Diné and Inuit women. The MacKenzie River Valley is where the Russian nuclear satellite came down some years ago. At the time, everybody was worried that it would fall on London or New York, but instead it fell on a so-called icy wasteland up in Canada. That’s the place where I was invited to go. It was 40 degrees below zero the day I arrived.

The MacKenzie River Valley has 22 communities of native people. They are spread over an enormous area. They still have a very successful traditional economy based on hunting and fishing and live in a communal manner in log houses.

I was invited up there because television had begun to arrive in the area. The Women’s Association was noticing startling changes in the communities where television had arrived. The men didn’t go out on the ice to fish as often. The animals weren’t being taken care of as well. The kids didn’t want to go out and play traditional games. The kids were starting to want things — like cars (even though there are no roads there). The neighbors weren’t hanging out together, working on the nets together, cooking together, eating together and so on. The community life was breaking down.

The most important thing, they told me, was the loss of story-telling (emphasis added). In the evenings, it used to be that the very old would gather with the very young in a corner of the house — several families together — and the old people would tell traditional stories and stories from their past. By hearing those stories, the young people could remember who they are, what’s good about their people, and how to live in that very harsh environment. The stories were a window to their roots. Also, the process of young and old hanging out together in that way was very important. There was a lot of love flowing back and forth and the kids were proud to be connected to their grandparents.

Apparently, all of this has been wiped out by television. Story-telling has come to an end. Now families sit together silently — all these generations together — and watch “Dallas,” a bunch of white people standing around a swimming pool drinking martinis and plotting against each other.

Human beings are genetically programmed to pay attention to anything that is new. It goes back to our time when we lived in jungles and had to depend on the information coming in through our senses. It’s part of our survival technique: we pay attention to anything new that takes place in our environment. But in this case it’s not an animal hiding behind a bush, it’s a whole technology speaking into our heads. It’s very hard to change ourselves genetically to keep up with the technological changes.

As human beings, we are supposed to believe what we see. Our system is constructed for seeing-is-believing. If we see birds flying south, we depend for survival on the fact that the birds are in fact flying south. But we’ve moved out of the forest and into the city and now we depend strictly on what is delivered to us as information. When we see images on television, we don’t know how not to believe them. Television is very powerful and compelling.

The day after I binged, I resolved to watch no TV the next day.  With the exception of some YouTube videos –  I tried to not watch them as much as just listen to them – I was able to stay away from the Grand Tube.  Definitely interesting to see how much anxiety I felt when I found myself too tired to do anymore work, started feeling an oncoming phase of self-reflection and meditation, and my urge was to just turn on the TV and allow myself to lulled by its hypnotic glare into a semi-catatonic state.

Instead I went outside, talked to the tree in the backyard, spoke to a rock (yep), prayed, meditated, played some Ravi Shankar while shaking my rattle, danced around my room.  Talked to the spirits.  Remembered the deep connection between consciousness and the breath.

Yeah.  Reality is still the best programming around.

I must create a system or be enslav’d by another man’s. I will not reason or compare: my business is to create.  – William Blake

An Initiation Story, Part 2

513px-Benin_kingdom_-_Warrior_and_attendants_

It was the twilight hour.

My consciousness was rousing from sleep…but not quite all the way.

I was enveloped in darkness.  I couldn’t see anything.

I felt myself surrounded by beings.  They had their hands on me, touching me.

Nudging me.

Then pushing me.

The pushing grew more and more violent.  I wasn’t quite conscious of everything that was going on; I felt drowsy.  But the shoving started to wake me up.

Then I felt a hand slash my back.  It hurt.

An image flashed through my mind – the image of a whip striking my back.  This image often flashes into my mind during the waking hours, when I’m deep in prayer, wrestling with inner demons.  I always try to breathe through the violence of the image and call upon the power of God.

So that’s what I did.  I sang a song of power – a song gifted to me by the spirits.  I used the song against my attackers, to try to drive them back.

They reacted immediately.  Grabbing my throat.  Shoving their hands into my mouth, trying to stop me from singing.  The sound of my song became distorted.

I was surprised by the extreme aggressiveness of their reaction.  Why did they want to hurt me?  Why were they trying to stop me from freeing myself?  Maybe I’d done something wrong.  Maybe I should stop singing.  Maybe I deserved their strikes and blows.

No….

NO!

I kept singing.  Forcing my song through their attacks, channeling love into my mind and heart.

My third eye started to open and the darkness began to recede.  That’s when I really got scared.

I didn’t want to see them.  I was more frightened by what I thought they looked like than the actual attacks.  I thought I’d see demons or grey aliens looking down on me, and I didn’t think my mind could handle it.  I’d rather shut my eye.

But I couldn’t do that.

I needed to be a warrior.

No matter how weak and pathetic and flawed I believed I was, right then, at that moment, I needed to be a warrior.

Or I was never going to be free.  Ever.

My eye opened all the way.

I was in my room – the astral version of it, anyway – which is was overcast in a dark-grey hue.

But I didn’t see any horrific face staring down at me.  In fact, I didn’t see anyone.

I was alone.

Then my actual eyes opened and I came awake.

***********

I sat up in bed, breathing deeply.

 I couldn’t see them, but I could still feel their presence.  

I got out of bed and just stood, staring at the ground, running my mind over what happened.

Finally, I initiated communication.

I spoke to the spirits.  They spoke back, and I listened.

What passed between us…well, suffice it to say, what happened to me was a lesson in courage and vigilance.

It was a lesson about standing up to bullies.

************

I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I threw on my backpack and went for a hike up to Sunrise Mountain.

photo (14) photo (15)

For the first time in a long time, I could feel the spirit of the mountain looking at me, watching me approach.  When I arrived at the foot of the mountain, I could feel pain and sadness in the mountain.  Maybe anger.  There was litter everywhere.  It made me angry too.
I thought about a lot about my encounter that morning – how there was a part of me that was so quick to capitulate when the level of violence intensified , and that I entertained the notion that I had done something wrong and deserved to be physically punished.
This is part of my past conditioning – associating physical and emotional violence with personal guilt, regardless of the circumstances.  Surrendering and submitting in order to neutralize the threat, no matter the spiritual costs.  Slave mentality.
I turned my back to the mountain and could see the whole city.  Industrial civilization.  The rape and ruin of the earth.
I felt the mountain push me from behind, saying, “Go do something about it.”
On my way back to the house, a neighborhood dog – some kind of Great Dane mix –  that has been terrorizing me for months jumped up from behind a wall and started barking at me.  It scared me so bad, I got mad.   I roared back at it, not carrying if anyone heard me or if I scared the neighbors.  The dog’s ears flattened and it looked at me silently.  It barked again.  I hissed at it, looking it dead in the eye.
It barked, but it seemed much less aggressive now.
I felt like my point had been made, and I left.
*******
Back when I ended my summer pilgrimage walk, I told myself it was so that I could learn to balance these intense energies I’ve been feeling.
There was a small part of me that was saying, “Bullshit.  You caved.  You caved AGAIN!”
I know that’s not true.  I didn’t cave.
I came back to get my djembe drum.
I came back to recover my stones.
I came back to make my prayer stick.
I came back to make my rattle
I came back to re-learn my songs.
I came back to learn that you can’t run from or submit to bullies.  That just encourages them.
I came back to remind myself that there are things in this world that I love, and that are worth fighting for.
And now I put my hand over my heart and I pray, “Stay or go?”
And the inner voice says, Go.

The Necessity of Dying

Leonard_Knijff_-_dead_birds

Months back, when I was going out for walks to get ready for my summer pilgrimage walk, I bolstered my courage by reminding myself that God would provide me with everything that I need.  That was the message I was receiving during prayer.  God would provide for my needs.

I would also meditate on the words of Jesus, such as Matthew 6:26

 “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

and Matthew 6: 31-33

Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?”  For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

There you have it.  If God feeds and shelters the birds, he’ll feed and shelter me.

And then one day, during my walk I saw a dead bird lying in the gutter.

It had been decapitated.  Its head was lying a few inches from it.  I walked 10 more yards and saw another dead bird.  It still had its head, but it looked like it had been smashed in the middle.  A little bit later, I saw yet another one.  It was intact, for the most part.  Still very much dead though.

After that experience, I started feeling that the “birds of the air” analogy had some serious flaws in it.

Two Sides of the Same Coin

I’ve also made  a daily habit of watching birds in the backyard.  Flying from tree to tree.  Eating leaves from a nearby plant. Singing to each other.  When I look at them, it seems very much like the promises of Jesus are true.

Then I think back to those birds in the gutter.

Animals do die of starvation.  So do human beings.

Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.  For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.  Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone?  Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!  Matthew 7:7-11

Of the millions around the world who are starving…is it because they lack faith?  Does God not love them as much as he loves the people who are getting three square meals a day?

I think about Peace Pilgrim –  her faith was unshakeable.  Is that why she was supported in her work?

I think about Benedict Joseph Labre.  He was a mendicant, a “Fool for Christ” living in extreme poverty.  He died at 35 of malnutrition.

Apparently, serving God is no guarantee of protection.

Look at the birds?  How about we look at Jesus!  According to the Gospels, he lived as close to God as was humanly possible and wound up nailed to a cross for his trouble!

And in the case of Joseph Labre, all he needed was a sandwich!  That’s it.

One sandwich would have keep him from being worm food.

But then again even worms need to eat.

God has to feed them too…

800px-Veggie_burger_flickr_user_bradleyj_creative_commons 800px-Skalldyr

When I think of food, I don’t think of it as former living beings or parts of former living beings of that are now dead.  I think of…well, food.  I think of the stuff that is packaged in boxes and plastic containers that I get at the supermarket that taste really good.

I have little consciousness of the fact that my food comes from animals and plants that were living their lives out in the world somewhere before they ended up on my dinner plate.  I have a feeling that my relationship with my “food” would drastically change if I did.

I have a feeling that my relationship to death would change too.

So many animals and have plants have died so that I could live.  And the day that I die, maggots will feed off of me.  What’s left will  decompose and become part of the soil.

From that soil, maybe will trees will grow, trees bearing fruit.  Maybe animals and humans will eat off that tree…

Shakespeare said it better:

KING

Now, Hamlet, where’s Polonius?
HAMLET 

At supper.

KING

At supper! where?

HAMLET 

Not where he eats, but where he is eaten: a certain
convocation of politic worms are e’en at him. Your
worm is your only emperor for diet: we fat all
creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for
maggots: your fat king and your lean beggar is but
variable service, two dishes, but to one table:
that’s the end.

KING

Alas, alas!

HAMLET

A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a
king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.

KING

What dost thou mean by this?

HAMLET

Nothing but to show you how a king may go a
progress through the guts of a beggar.

– Hamlet,  Act IV, Scene 3

We die so that others might live.  Isn’t that the meaning behind the death of Christ, and why Christianity has been compared to fertility religions – the Corn King who dies and is resurrected so that the people might have food to eat?

When I pray to God for food, I’m indirectly praying for and sanctioning the death of another being.  So be it.  That’s way it works.

But I in turn owe the earth and all its inhabitants a death to keep the cycle going.

The Undiscovered Country

Our culture – and by “our culture”, I mean Western industrial civilization – does not honor death or hold it sacred.  It fears death immensely.

That is in no small part due to Christianity, which refers to death as an “enemy” and equates it with sin.

“The wages of sin is death…” – Romans 6:23

“The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”  – 1 Corinthians 15:26

Death is the ultimate tragedy of life, brought into the world by Adam and Eve when they brought sin into the world.  And though we claim to be “modern minded” and hold up science as the new religion, we still view death the way religious fundamentalists view Satan.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t heal sick people or save people who are dying.  We absolutely should.

But I think we should hold death as sacred as we do life.

There are much worse things than dying.  Like living a life where one is in constant physical pain.  Or living a life of quiet desperation because one is too scared to be the person they were born to be.

You know the saying, “It was just his/her time?” I believe that.  We can’t all live forever.

When I die, I want my death to be celebrated.  I want my funeral – if there is one – to look  and sound like this:

I really like reading about near-death experiences.  In these accounts, death doesn’t seem scary; it seems wonderful – like being born again.

It reminds me that there there may be more to existence than a physical life on earth.

Perhaps death isn’t an end, but a doorway to another plane of reality.

Today we’re needed here, but maybe, one day, we’ll be needed somewhere else.

“God Will Give You What You Need…”

I still hear this message when I’m in prayer.  Those birds in the gutter have deepened my understanding of it.

I don’t feel like I’m being lied to anymore, or that I’m wearing rose-colored-glasses when it comes to God’s providence.

If I need life, God will give it to me.  If I need death, God will give me that too.

Either way, I will be with God.  And God is who I really need.