29 June 2007 by Published in: Simone No comments yet

Rest in Peace, Simone my daughter, gone too soon.

And Kurt Vonnegut Jr., gone too recently.

And my grandfather, gone a long time now, but much on my mind of late, with his large hands and direct gaze.

The dead remain dead, and the rest of us keep breathing. Borges thought it was a great relief to have the certainty of one’s own end. He believed in nothing beyond this life, and treasured the inevitable cessation of existence. Safety. Rest. The Null. He has reached it now. It’s not a very Christian idea, but it appeals to me, and I don’t think belief in the hereafter is one of the make or break Christian doctrines. This is probably why I never told the living kid the dead one might be in heaven, resisting the pressure of those who would tack on a happy ending, try to soothe today’s hurt with a promise of a future none of us could know or even, perhaps, understand. Loss is loss, not hidden gain. I cannot stand to make it other than what it is: irrevocable, binding, final.

And yet, I’m still breathing. You’re still breathing. The essence of the numinous is breath.

The living kid has been up to some interesting endeavors lately, more of which can be read about here. She made her own flute, with her own hands, and the guidance of her father (another man of large hands and direct gaze). The sound of her flute, breath pushed through it, is like hearing the wind in the canopies, or in tall grasses of the prairie. The sound is small but strong, and she’s learning to add trills to the wispy notes, invoking birds and flight along with the free wind.

Let’s share a breath together again next year, if we can, and share the memory of our loved ones who breathe no longer.


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