the other day i got news that a friend’s daughter had passed on. so i sent a note, and this was part of the letter that came in return:
“The ospreys are crying plaintively. They seem to understand.”
everything in me had to rise up to hold back the sea of sorrow. then i came across this poem by Mary Oliver:
Count the Roses
Count the roses, red and fluttering.
Count the roses, wrinkled and salt.
Each with its yellow lint at the center.
Each with its honey pooled and ready.
Do you have a question that can’t be answered?
Do the stars frighten you by their heaviness
and their endless number?
Does it bother you, that mercy is so difficult to
For some souls it’s easy; they lie down on the sand
and are soon asleep.
For others, the mind shivers in its glacial palace,
and won’t come.
Yes, the mind takes a long time, is otherwise occupied
than by happiness, and deep breathing.
Now, in the distance, some bird is singing.
And now I have gathered six or seven deep red,
half-opened cups of petals between my hands,
and now I have put my face against them
and now I am moving my face back and forth, slowly,
The body is not much more than two feet and a tongue.
Come to me, says the blue sky, and say the word.
And finally even the mind comes running, like a wild thing,
and lies down in the sand.
Eternity is not later, or in any unfindable place.
Roses, roses, roses, roses.
there is nothing like poetry
just nothing like it
when it comes to carving out the spaces of our hearts
to find a place to breathe
to know past knowing
to grasp the things
so far beyond
and then there they are
hovering ever so softly
in the midst
opening inner eyes
never not present
none of us
but shining out
in sharp relief
or in any unfindable place”
but dawning up
from the very midst
breaking through the winters
to see our lives
in ever tender
each other on
its all presence
all accounted for
“Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.” Luke 24
“O come and find, the Spirit saith,
The Truth that maketh all men free.
The world is sad with dreams of death.
Lo, I am Life, come unto Me.” Elizabeth Adams
“May the great Shepherd that “tempers the wind to the shorn lamb,”
and binds up the wounds of bleeding hearts, just comfort,
encourage, and bless all who mourn.” Mary Baker Eddy