In My Parents’ Grave One morning, when the aloneness of gathering winter pulled me inside, I felt something ask me to lie in the grave with my parents; a request strange yet deep that had me draw the curtains and turn off the phone. I was bidden to be shrouded, not boxed, so I sought my long, hooded cape, remnant of a desert retreat. All livingness abandoned me. I was no longer in my row of cottages tucked between friendly neighbours on a busy road. With heightened senses and full awareness I wrapped my own body in preparation for death and asked my parents could I lie between their long-dead bodies. Time vanished. Peace came: the peace of a body sunk heavily to the floorboards, the peace of a mind oddly still, the peace of a soul met with itself in some vast sphere of bliss. Slowly life called me back. Slower still my body rose and rejoined its need for breath and movement, warmth and water. For two full days I travelled between the touch of death and mundane being. But though I could not stay in death’s bright shadow, there still remains her feather-swipe upon my body.
Eulogy for Victor
Sometimes a man emerges on the worlddifferent, challenging, full of his own importance, so sure of some things that he rattles our cages, yet somehow sad and incomplete within himself. He may be a Winston Churchill. He may be a recluse. He may attract high praise or broken windows. Only some strange twist of place and time seems to make the difference. We may love or hate such a man but seldom do we feel indifferent. He splits open our security. He batters on the door of all things proper. He upsets our apple carts yet in so doing gives us something by which to define ourselves, something uncomfortably scratchy to rub against,
something growthful and wonderfulif we can but bear the friction.