I spent time last night and today helping my friend J dismantle her household. She is moving to a more comfortable place, and in the process is selling everything but the necessary nuts and bolts of her life.
We measured fabric and rolled and marked it: $3 a yard. She is only keeping the things needed to complete a few projects. J sat down and figured what she can hope to finish in the few months left to her life. Everything else goes, generating cash she desperately needs to continue living until she dies.
I'm tired to the bone. Aching in body and heart. We laughed all afternoon. That's her gift to me. She says it's my gift to her. We are both blessed.
So the post I had planned for today will wait for another day. Instead, I'm going to treat you to a small portion of a poem by Dylan Thomas. He is my favorite poet, and I love poetry.
This excerpt comes from "Poem on His Birthday", written in the summer of 1951. The poet was 35 that year. He died on November 9, 1953. I believe this piece of poetry is quite possibly perfect:
Yet, though I cry with tumbledown tongue,
Count my blessings aloud:
Four elements and five
Senses, and man a spirit in love
Tangling through this spun slime
To his nimbus bell coll kingdom come
And the lost, moonshine domes,
And the sea that hides his secret selves
Deep in its black, base bones,
Lulling of spheres in the seashell flesh,
And this last blessing most,
That the closer I move
To death, one man through his sundered hulks,
The louder the sun blooms
And the tusked, ramshackling sea exults;
And every wave of the way
And gale I tackle, the whole world then,
With more triumphant faith
That ever was since the world was said,
Spins its morning of praise;
Dylan Thomas understood that his life would not be long. At the young age of 35, he could see the end coming. Spending time with J makes the fragility of life and the certainty of death more vivid. The journey will be over. The story will end.
I hope for you, dear friends, that when your own story winds down and your journey is all but over, you will find, as the poet did, the sun blooming louder and the world filled with "triumphant faith."
May the Peace of God go With you.