Friday, May 23, 2014

Remembering Loren 2014

It's another anniversary of my brother Loren's last hike. It's been 4 years. So hard to believe. I still hear my sister's voice, still hear the words that sent me weeping across the planet.  

I don't know where Loren is; he's not here on this earth, but maybe someplace else where his soul resides.  I am keeping his spirit alive, just remembering him and missing him. But frankly, I long for his presence more than anything in the world. 

And I wonder about this other place.

A surgeon had a near-death experience and declared there is a heaven. He had lovely images of butterflies floating in an ethereal garden, a floating world. So have lots of other people.  I’m not there.  I think this vision has more to do with neurons and synapses and chemicals dancing around in the brain as other organs shut down. Not that I don’t want to believe. I do. Especially because I so want to see Loren again, and my parents, and all those I have loved and lost. "Maybe death isn't darkness afterall, but so much light wrapping itself around us..." Mary Oliver wondered, too.  

We will never know. Death is one of the mysteries of life.  I think death is final. You have one shot to do the best you can in the time you have. You can't undo what's been done in this sliver of time. You can only move forward from today as your time gets shorter. But oh Loren, how I hope we meet again. How I miss you. Life is not the same without you in it. It will never be the same.  

Here's a favorite Mary Oliver poem for you, my dearest soulmate who communed with nature and found solace in it. 

White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field

Detail from Audubon Plate 121 Snowy Owl

by Mary Oliver

Coming down out of the freezing sky
with its depths of light,
like an angel, or a Buddha with wings,
it was beautiful, and accurate,
striking the snow and whatever was there
with a force that left the imprint
of the tips of its wings — five feet apart —
and the grabbing thrust of its feet,
and the indentation of what had been running
through the white valleys of the snow —
and then it rose, gracefully,
and flew back to the frozen marshes
to lurk there, like a little lighthouse,
in the blue shadows —
so I thought:
maybe death isn't darkness, after all,
but so much light wrapping itself around us —

as soft as feathers —
that we are instantly weary of looking, and looking,
and shut our eyes, not without amazement,
and let ourselves be carried,
as through the translucence of mica,
to the river that is without the least dapple or shadow,
that is nothing but light — scalding, aortal light —
in which we are washed and washed
out of our bones.
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