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February 18, 2013


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I have always thought that the most beautiful shrines are more abstract - the ones we make out of choices and mercy and awareness and generosity. So many things are supposed - but I wonder why we suppose them? Expect them? Where does that "should"ness come from, I wonder? Father Knows Best? Leave it to Beaver? Assumptions we have come, not only to make, but to pass along, about what we should expect. But as I do genealogy, and I watch families as they wax and wane through the document, that death had to be an assumption for so many, for so many thousands of years. Hope - I suppose, where we love, we hope. When our hearts soar at the rise of beauty, we hope. Hope is not a guarantee, but the whisper of what life could be, and that turns into could have been as the days and years unfold.

I am not sure that I like the idea of tiny fences around plots of ground, around lives finished - early or late. As though you could hold something there, even though the essence of that life - I believe - is now free of gravity. The tokens of love, I understand. But I have no response to graves, I find. I never visit those places of people I once knew - not even to leave flowers. Because my hope is linked to the wider reality of live and love - and for some reason, I really believe that mortality is a thin and temporary shell. My people are not in the little space. And so I try to honor them and decorate their memory be being what they would have supposed I should have been - while I still have time here to be it.

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