cultivating & crashing

an organic collection of notes, observations, and thoughts

Tag: death

How to be present

On being a carrot

On Being A Carrot in God’s Garden

You can be sure the hand will pull you from the ground.
You can be sure.
No matter how longingly the earth presses against you.
No matter how sweet the mineral sips at the tips of your roots.
No matter how comfortable your somnolent, unchanging days,
When you are ripe, you will be taken.

In this slumbering time,
in this tiny, dark cradle,
you cannot imagine sky
or the cloud shadows that splatter the surface above,
or the green lace of your own intricate leaves.

When the hand comes,
may your flesh be sweet in surrender.
When the soil falls away from your snapping roots,
may you slide easy into the light.
When you lie naked in the basket,
may the hand rub the last soil from your skin
and carry you — singing and fresh —
straight to the mouth of God.

Barbara McAfee


This entry is not yet finished.

I read an article last night on narrative (cite) that made some points that made me realize that the way we read and interpret stories is similar to the way we live our lives.
– filling gaps
– something I highlighted

Then I was writing my paper on the way death illustrates that which is important in life in biblical and talmudic stories. I don’t remember where I got this idea–I think it was the Yom Kippur sermon I heard a couple years ago–where the rabbi said that in order to live fully, we need to come to terms with our own death. I think this is right on. In order to do anything useful, it’s necessary that we understand our finite nature. Otherwise you don’t understand the value of time, nor can you realize the things than are of value to use your time for.

In Logicomix, there is a note about Schopenhauer saying that there’s nothing like death to humanize you. (Tim O’Brien says in The Things They Carried that proximity to death brings you closer to life. I think maybe Kerouac says something similar in On The Road. But I digress.) Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find where he (Schop.) makes this claim. Quite the contrary, I didn’t find much interesting complexity to his claim that death is the reprieve from our lives of suffering.

Mmm… why do I like this topic so much? I always always always come back to think about Sonny’s Blues, where life is suffering, and the point of life is to see what you can do with it. Me, I want to make it beautiful. That could be facile, though. At least, meaningful, worth the while. It will still always be sad, but suffering helps us feel. Makes us be human. Maybe that’s shitty, but it’s real. And real is better than illusion. tragedy is important and truth is beautiful even when it’s ugly by virtue of being truth.

Speaking of suffering, I’m off to lifting.

PS. Remind me to post my shtick on Logicomix on here.