Saturday, November 22, 2008

To Dream

"To die, to sleep - no more - and by a sleep to say we end the heartache, and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep - to sleep - perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub, for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.
"Hamlet Prince of Denmark", Act III Sc. i
William Shakespeare

Must give us pause.

Pause I have done often of late as a confluence of events have brought to m
ind and heart memories of dear ones who have shuffled off their mortal coil. First, the celebration of Dia de los Muertes when, among other observances, I set a place for them at my table. So many meals I shared with them: delicious food and drink and wit whose taste is a loving feast for my mind and heart. Thanksgiving Day is nearly upon us and I cannot help but think of them with a bit of sorrow, but moreso with a great feeling of gratitude that they lived, that they chose to be and that we were blessed to be together. I have also been unpacking belongings in my new home, discovering anew the gifts and memories they bestowed.

Some passed on after long lives with all the attendant achievements and respect 'of so long life', yet it was still a natural shock to have them go. Many of these dear ones were taken so suddenly, so unexpectedly about ten or eleven years ago that I still reel, especially at times like these. In the early days after their passings I found it hard to 'bear the whips and scorns of time' taking them before any of us felt they should go.

Slowly, slowly, in bits and pieces Prince Hamlet's existential soliloquy seeped into my thoughts: 'To die, to sleep - to sleep - perchance to dream'. "They did not have to die to dream," I began to argue in my mind.
"Nobody has to die - to sleep - to dream!" I don't know whether it was my inherent insistence upon using my own mind or the heartfelt encouragement of all those dear ones who have gone before me, but that argument took root in my heart and sent up its shoots. I listened.

I listen still. I follow that assertion: ""Nobody has to die - to sleep - to dream." That hidden root has blossomed into a surety that following one's dreams is the route to take To Be.

"Be yourself, it's all that you can do." (Chris Cornell)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ancestral Spirits

When I saw the icons for Bloglandia, Dia de los Muertes, I knew I had to add my little something. As a little girl I remember climbing the stairs in my grandparents' farmhouse, against my grandmother's wishes, and just sitting in the attic among the memories . The windows were that old imperfect glass with bubbles and ripples, and I loved sitting there among the dust-bunnies, wondering about the people who came before me. Since I became a mother I would look at my sons and think about the memories their lives would make for someone someday. I am heartened, and humbled, when I think of the people who link me to the past and to the future, the ancestral spirits and the children. Slainte.