Life’s certain pain

Yesterday during a few stolen moments I had read poetry. Yesterday, before I heard the news of the freak death of the son of old friends, I had read this poem:

You tell me on your birthday
your wife’s best friend gave birth;
hours later, her mother died.

You can’t understand so much joy
and grief in one day.

I tell you of the monks in Tibet,
who eviscerate the corpses,
with four long knife cuts in the morning sun,
then let the vulture’s have their fill.

One monk crushes the bones,
mixes them with barley
for the vulture’s last meal of the day.
Nothing’s left.

The Buddhists call it sky burial:
the soul’s shortcut to Nirvana.

There is no sense to things,
I tell you, nothing to understand;
only life’s certain pain
and the vultures waiting
for the next soul
to carry on their wings.  -Wendy Morton

Unless we are put to shame in our hope, a worry at least one Psalmist had, our crazy hope is all we have.

But when night falls on you like a hammer, when life as you know it ends–full stop–where does hope go then? Where do the painted ponies, the golden fields, the scarlet sunrises go then?

No Nirvana, no heaven, no round and round, no circle game, no hope.

Now is not the time for hope. Not right now. Hope would only mock.

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  1. Thanks for making me cry again Steve. (I’m not being sarcastic–tears are the only thing that feel right with news of a young life being suddenly snuffed out.) How do parents get on with their now profoundly and permanently altered lives? All I know is that it will remain with them forever, a well of tears they will be be compelled to dip into over and over and over again.

  2. I feel the same way, Connie – How do parents move on after this? I still feel like I’m in some sort of shock, trying to grasp this reality, not wanting it to be real… I recognize their pain is even worse. I pray for them ‘without ceasing’.

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