Sunday, February 15, 2009
Just a Breath
Life. Big word, isn't it? Or is it? The circle seems so endless, and yet, like just a breath, a moment, a mist. It is just slipping through my fingers.
You know, I've been reading in Ina May Gaskin's book, 'Guide to Childbirth', and reading many, many beautiful birth stories, feeling renewed and empowered, so blessed to be a woman, and one day, if God wills it, a mother, to harbour a new life and bring it into this beautiful world. Then I went to a choral workshop yesterday, with the Brainerd Blyden-Taylor, director of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, an Afrocentric professional chamber choir from Ontario, he was talking about these amazing black sermons that R. Nathaniel Dett had put to music for choir, and he spontaneously began preaching to this workshop of 100+ people, the creation sermon from this series, and he spoke with such amazing fervency, of this incredible God, bringing the entire world into existence, and then at the concert last evening, they performed the sermon about death. It spoke of a death, and God telling the brother, sister, and husband left behind not to weep, for 'sister Caroline' has been taken home, and is resting in the bosom of Jesus. The whole first half of the concert put death in such a beautiful, positive, refreshing light, that suddenly, I didn't mind if I died right then and there at the theatre.
Birth and death. Such extremes, or so it seems. Perhaps we should question that, though. I have been recently reading all these little surveys and quizzes that come up on facebook, and seeing Mariah's Mum and older sister talking about their children, and watching the responses from other Mums, how it seems like the lives of their children just slip through their fingers, and no matter how hard they try to capture every minute, they keep growing, slipping through their fingers all the time.* "What was the best feeling in your life?" The question, loosely quoted, asked, and the response from both Mums was "right after birth". What is this thing, this life, that causes such joy, and such heartache?
I dream, and think, and find myself staring at the stars, thinking of the billions of others who stare up at those stars and have all through history, and all of a sudden, I feel so incredibly small, and yet somehow, so full, like a rush of amazing worthiness. I've been given this worth somehow, and I don't know why, but I feel so amazing. When I study someone for history, I write their name, and the first thing I write is the year they were born, and they year they passed on. It's just a moment, just a breath, and yet...then I fill the page with their life, and how full and rich it was, no matter the hardships. So I continue to dream, and every bit of work I do now I know somehow contributes to realising those dreams one day. When I look out across the ocean or up at the stars, I see my life flooding before me, in an incredible river of creativity. I'll be 17 in a few months. 16 years and counting, and I haven't yet breathed once.
And when there is no air left?
Slippin' through my fingers all the time, I try to capture every minute of life.
It will not end. It will continue...for a long, long time yet.
* "Slipping Through My Fingers" --ABBA