On this day, I remember a musical priest whose sermons I still read in the notes of his songs. We will miss you dearly, Leonard Cohen.
Priest: Leonard (Cohen)
We heard his syrupy voice as black as pitch …
preaching his dark sermons
in smoke and fire
in open ditches and underpasses
somewhere in the land of somewhere
under the veil of nowhere.
We realized it was a revival,
complete with tables and
tent poles and lost souls,
though there were no white canvases, no white lies.
He drained us of everything we had,
all our internal resources, all our desires,
all our false hopes, drowning in a sea of
questions marks, ash, and splinters,
but somehow, when we came up out of the
we came up clean.
– Gina Marie Mammano
Just a couple of days ago, a dear friend crossed one of the two ultimate thresholds; in his case, death. I think one of the most refreshing things I have ever heard, came from him during his last days. So honest. He said, “I really don’t know how long this will go on, hours, days, weeks?” He was truly present for the unknowable threshold that was unfolding. We sat with him. Enjoyed some well chosen words, planned on returning the next day with some requested tulips and chocolate, and then he slipped into unconsciousness, ultimately moving on to his next adventure. I wrote a poem about this moment I would like to share with you.
It is here.
You always wondered how you would go.
At a gas station with heart in flames, the ticking stopped,
then down for the count, a quick and simple death.
Or outliving your spouse, wandering the lonely halls
of forest and bedroom, your own soul, wondering
how you would manage as you slowly trickled away.
I’m sure in childhood, like the rest of us, you were sitting
in a rocking chair, on a porch, in some soft form of robe
or blanket, slowly disappearing into a long, long sleep.
But here you are. And even on your death bed, you say,
“I really don’t know how this works, how long I will go on,
will it be hours or days or weeks?” And you smile as we offer
you a tomorrow of flowers and chocolates alongside a book to read.
“That sounds lovely”, you say, then words slowly slip
from your veins and you go very quiet; and life slowly
drips from you body and you go very still; and now the
soul slowly seeps from your self, and
it is here.
– by Gina Marie Mammano
Being here. That’s all we can truly ask for every moment. May we all be here right now, together.