Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Chickens on the Killing Ground: Death

I’ve been saying it to people on the Tarot-phone for days. I’ve been talking about it on my ‘Card of the Week’ mp3. Maybe I need to listen to it now. It’s a time for endings. Beginnings always need endings. Birth needs death. Many of us have been caught up in the ‘Mayan Calendar Syndrome’. It’s resonated for a lot of people. Does that mean the earth is about to be annihilated, all humankind wiped out? Not so likely. But many of us are feeling the call to radical change. Easy to say. Easy to propose to others. When it knocks on the door it’s a whole other story.

My year began with a death. My auntie, the only person left in my life who has known (and loved) me since I was born, died just before New Year’s. She held my childhood in her heart, and still spoke of me as a ‘boy’. That there would be one person who held that, who knew me all the way through, was like having a home to go to. She died peacefully and easily in her armchair at home.

I’ll be grieving for a while. But also I feel that I’m being asked to let go of something. And I don’t want to. To move forward in my life I’m needing to acknowledge and surrender to my own death. I feel frozen. I want the Divine to send me an email telling me when it’s going to happen. I want control. I want to know whether I should start projects, start a new chapter, move to a different city, walk through doors, or just stay where I am. Some of that is nonsense. Of course one keeps doing, but the timeline is real. We get old. We start breaking down. We need, what, a little more safety? A little more security?

Preparing to write this blog as always I shuffled and cut a card. The card was Death. The Great Conversion. The Threshold. Eight people I have loved have crossed that threshold, four of them younger than me. What does it mean to love someone who is no longer walking on the earth?

And how does this bring me back to change and rebirth?

Some years ago some friends and I were raising chickens. When they got old their fate was the stew-pot. After a chicken cull, the other chickens would start laying eggs like mad. Life is the only possible response to death. And to release into Life, Desire, Passion, Commitment, is scary. But the only other option is to be dead-in-life, and for me that’s no option at all. So, as Dorothy Parker said “Might as well live.”

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