A friend of mine is dying. His wife posts on the caring bridge site every so often, and over the past 11 months has chronicled the diagnosis, the doctor visits, the nurses, the treatments, the prognosis, the medication, the educated guess, the hospice, the technology, the pain, and now the final moments…
His is a legacy of teacher. While I write this I am not referring to his chosen profession, although that is teacher as well. His teaching legacy is how he shares his heart. He champions the unusual. He honors the underdog. He encourages the unfathomable. He listens to the unseen.
He leads us on this journey toward the inevitable outcome of each birth in a way that allows the rest of us to give back to him and search our own hearts for the words and actions that will remind him of his legacy of teacher. Say it now.
In most societies, and especially in the United States, the process of life and its end as we know it is being masked by our perceived ‘ability’ to have control of it somehow. We are led to believe that the relentless pursuit of the American dream defines us in the following ways: the perfect family unit, the perfect education, the perfect love life, the perfect career, the perfect insurance, the perfect skin, the perfect weight, the perfect length of time, the perfect clothes, the perfect house, the perfect church life, the perfect partner, the perfect children, the perfect outlook, the perfect path, the perfect choices…in other words, the perfect life. If the perfect life does not occur for us, that somehow reveals failure.
What I am reminded of during these last days with my friend is the Infinite desiring a finite experience is not looking for perfection. The being who fills my heart has much to offer in guiding me gently and calmly through my imperfect life as I (the carbon unit, the little s self) see it.
This now leads me to the premise of the Song of the Soul. Language limits our human definition of ‘song’ as evidenced by Kahlil Gibran’s poem. In my friend’s case, after he retired he wanted to make music (one definition of ‘song’), and is regretting his lack of time left to make it. According to the poem, our song is also often quieted by ego (…in fear of harsh ears). Thankfully, in the middle of the poem, the song of the soul is ‘understood by love’. In answer to the last question 'What human dares sing in voice the song of God?' I dare say each life lived does...
This is the legacy my friend leaves. Unconditional love. His heart continues the song of the soul. His heart has been expressed in many different ways to many different sentient beings along the way over many decades and in many capacities. His legacy shows us that every moment is the song of the soul. The song arises in a hug, a smile, a word, a gesture, a kindness, a listening ear, a pause, a quieting, a deeksha, an encouragement, a resonate laugh, a series of lyrical literary notes, a hum of vibrational connection, a presence…all these together reveal a life well lived, and brilliantly sung.
On Oct 16, 2018Catherine wrote :
Thank you for this beautiful post. I’ve kept a copy of them to inspire me in a life well song. You honour the legacy of you friend with your words.