I have yet to attend a funeral where the officiant declares, The deceased has gone to hell. Does that absence, or avoidance, create some strange disservice to those who survive? Perhaps a detriment to the deceased? It is our enormous error to view the present state of nature as a punishment for divinely-prohibited, fruit- nibbling. While there are those who still feel that the sun is the center of their universe, I choose to bring the newborn baby home with the expectation that tradition will give her all that has been created and fall away to something terribly and wonderfully new.
Trails connect trails through these woodlands walked from period to period, paleo to post-modern. Treaties have made the steps easier for some and more painful and deadly for those who shared the space for living their lives. Slick service and bringing in the lead and gold prevailed over values told and possibilities for calls of patience and comfort. Now, this place is paved for parking lot conversations held by those who say they need no refuge but continue to ask, How does everybody feel?
I said, "I accidentally dropped the "o" from Hello this morning and created..." She leaped in, "Stop! Don't finish! A little bit of that always goes a long way." I asked, "Are you suggesting that we should do what the soul calls for?" She replied, "Only if all parties recognize that there are three sides to every argument." Thinking out loud, I said, "How is talking about it now seen as a threat?" "Because," she answered, "change never comes from the delights of being comfortable."
How many more calculations must be made to be free of belief in miracles when sunlight falls with such graceful abandon? Lip-biting onlookers have not awakened to shout their derisions to fools who still remain lost in the dregs of bad vodka. Scolding mothers have not found anything to pray upon. Wonders wander around centers of being long forgotten. A daughter cries for attention in the loneliest corner. Dry compassion waits for those less well-fed. A donkey-rider enters the city claiming to possess the secret of being in relationship with God and neighbor.
(Found Poem in Michel de Montainge’s “Of Solitude” translated by George B. Ives)
Let us answer on behalf of ambition who gives us a taste for solitude. It is not that the wise man can not live content everywhere, aye, and alone, in the throng of a palace. But we do not always intelligently seek the pathway to this end. (Often we think that we have abandoned affairs when we have only changed them.) Consequently, because we are quit of the court and the marketplace, we are not quit of the chief torments of our life. Ambition, avarice, irresolution, fear, and all greedy desires, do not desert us when we change our abiding-place. (Socrates was told that a certain person had not changed for the better in his travels. "I must believe it," said he, "for he carried himself with him.") We carry our fetters with us; it is not complete liberty; we still turn our eyes toward what we have left; our thoughts are full of it.