Monday, June 21, 2010

Week 15: Life/Death



Life (left: Mary)



We were perched high up in the Himalayan Mountains, sitting around a fire in a small hut used by shepherds as heavy rain, snow and hail fell outside. We were drinking tea and discussing life.



‘Life is for learning’, Ayub, our new Kashmiri friend, said. I smiled and instantly agreed. He shared a Kashmiri phrase that explains that when you come to the mountains, your fists are closed, but when you leave, they are open. He extended his arms and as he sat there with his palms facing the sky, I thought about how true and beautiful that was.



To greet life every day with outstretched arms, to seize moments, both good and bad, is to live. For me, this is life.



What moments are you taking hold of these days? What does ‘life’ mean to you?



Death (right: Sarah)



Death is the most curious certainty, isn't it?



We travel through life grasping at vitality, wrapping our slowly withering petals around greener vines. Time thieves us of our supple beauty, bones creak, vision fades, and minds are lost...



In some cases there is no slow process - life ends in all of its brilliance, still full, and yet emptied of promise.


We know we will go, but when and how? And what will happen when we get there? We can all speculate, but we can never really know.


What do you believe? What happens when you cease to exist here on earth?


5 comments:

luna pie June 21, 2010 at 8:43 AM  

Oh Mary! Beautiful photograph, beautiful words...
I love it ~ greet the day with outstretched arms. That's precisely what I hope to achieve as well.

The moments I spend alone listening to the sound of my own breath are the ones I hold tight to these days. I find it really hard to relax, but when I take a truly deep breath, ohhhhhh man, when I can sit or lay in silence without anyone but me making demands on myself, those are the moments that keep me together for the rest of the time.

I miss you so much Mar...

XO

turtlestack June 23, 2010 at 6:40 PM  

First of all, what amazing pictures. The view from the mountaintop down to the fragile fiber on a dying flower.

Mary, I could just picture you and Ben sharing communion in that hut.

You ladies teach us all about greeting each day arms extended, hands open.

As for what happens next, these days I'm leaning toward a conversation a couple of my characters had:
“Do you believe in God?”
“I practice my Oma’s religion: Be thankful. Be kind. And my Opa’s faith: live like all the stories about God might be true and give like they aren’t.”
“Say again?”
“Embrace the possibility of hope, redemption and forgiveness but love like you’re the only chance the person crossing your path has.”
“Amen and Amen.”

Charlene June 25, 2010 at 2:28 PM  

Awsome pictures ladies.

Embrace each day thanking God for the beauty you are surrounded by.

Sarah as for death, afterlife, whatever one wants to call it............ I like to believe we will meet our loved ones once again & live in peace.

Mary June 26, 2010 at 6:27 AM  

Sare--loaded question!

As much as I love the idea of heaven existing and all us meeting our loved ones again, I don't really believe it.

I think that when we cease to exist, we really cease to exist.

This doesn't make me sad or worried because the life I've lived, am living and will continue to live is enough.

I'm happy in this life and in these moments.

Anvilcloud June 27, 2010 at 11:14 AM  

Missed this post earlier, and a few others I think. I agree with Mary's last comment. I also wonder how the mountains are affecting, Mary. When we visited the Rockies, I dreamed of them constantly, every night for a month or more later. They drew my spirit into their embrace that much.

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