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MEMENTO MORI: A waltz on the Lee Shore

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

There is energy in silence


Ripples of lighting

Rainbow particles

Traveling through a magnetic field

Surrounding me in kindness

Surrender, they whisper

Lifting the veil of darkness

As in a delicate partnership

Friendship, kindred spirits united

Loving, understanding, expansive

Trust and let go, they say

Float, explore, release

You’re invited

Home is where your heart is

She likes to remind me of my own mortality. Death. In a dance macabre through gilded halls vibrating with waltzes. Whose notes lead me hastily through twists and turns. In unknown labyrinths. Where I encounter shadows long forgotten. Fears I am beholden to. Helping me re-discover an awareness towards the impermanence of life and moments.

I’ve danced with her closely, more times than I would like. By choice and chance. Never so intimately as the weeks I seemed to be drowning in pandemic waters . The ones we are still trying to swim out of. How do you face that by yourself? Confined to a place my soul still struggles to call home. Far away from the people I wanted beside me the most. Not being brave enough to say. I am afraid. I am alone. Months later. Still carrying that sadness. A hug feels comparable to a seismic undoing. Grief, rupturing scars within. Flooding my nervous system with tidal waves of anxiety, confusion and living. I call upon the ego. Unfortunately. Or perhaps fortunately. But these forces of habit cannot keep me afloat any longer. Breathe, swim, paddle, paddle. Waves are breaking. Whitewater, heavy with guilt, shame and sorrow. Underwater. An otherworld, a dream world. Submerged, I feel the rage. The anger. It breathes me the answer. I inhale the clues I’ll use to navigate here on, after.

Breaking through the surface. Her siren song beckons me. It sounds familiar. Compelling an impulse to return to shore with her. A cold current of hope tickles my spirit. Choose the open sea. It whispers. Lifting the veil of darkness. As in a delicate partnership. Friendship, kindred spirits united. Loving, understanding, expansive. Trust and let go, it titters. Float, explore, release. You’re invited. Home is where your heart is. The shore is not ready for you yet. I wave back, she smiles. As if saying: “I’ll give you more time before our final bow”. Away she keeps dancing. Twirling the thread of destiny in the air. “Memento Mori,'' she yells.

I turn with direction to the horizon. Leaving the safety of the shore behind me. “Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea”..*


*Know ye now, Bulkington? Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?

But as in landlessness alone resides highest truth, shoreless, indefinite as God- so better is it to perish in that howling infinite, than be ingloriously dashed upon the lee, even if that were safety!

-Chapter 23 The Lee Shore, Moby Dick by Herman Melville

“Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don't know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It's that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don't know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”

― The Sheltering Sky, by Paul Bowles

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