Honouring the Living.
‘Who is rich? One who is satisfied with his lot, as is said: “If you eat of the toil of your hands, fortunate are you, and good is to you”.’ (pirkei avot 4:1)
‘here’s to the few who forgive what you do and the fewer who don’t even care’ (leonard cohen)
..we laugh where other people cry and cry where others laugh.. not always, of course, and not loudly or publicly.. there is so much harshness and brutality and suffering in the world, the bombs dropped in error and the bullets fired intentionally, grandparents carrying small broken bodies to their graves and children washing the bodies of their parents, animals clinging to the last dead branches as the floods rise or industry poisons with oil or palm oil, continents of plastic strangling the life that flees from bottom trawling…
Most of those I witness in the world either are indifferent to these conditions, and exacerbate them, or else shrug and sigh at how terrible things are and return to the numb greed that maintains these same conditions. Few people stop to move the runover remains of an animal to the side of the road, so as to dignify its and our own life and death. Even less are those who laugh out loud when a nod towards a flower receives a smile and a jig in reply. Or a sunset or a fully belly increase one’s desire to be generous, according to one’s capacity.
So it is a blessing when the gods of little things get through, and we help those who have lost their way or their home, lend a hand to carry a shopping bag or an overwhelming emotion, talk sense and nonsense, as the times allow and demand, fulfill our rituals, offer thanks for our breath and for warm, clean water, undertake the cleansing of our bodies and the space about us, regard with consideration those fallen, and freely offer kind action and moments of our time in community. We are privileged to quietly witness life as the expression of beauty.
We are indeed greatly blessed who have tripped over a broken book of poems written by madmen, and stumbled across a drunken choir, where we are invited to join in and howl and sing out of tune.