Your Death Is Not a Blip

We all die. But, most people don’t like to think about that, which I think is a mistake. I find it helpful to consider my own death from time to time. It reminds me I’m alive.

Poets help me to meditate on my own demise. A good poet will look death straight-on, and not flinch. She will probe and tease the subject, until she creates a poem that reveals, in all its stark reality, a truth that we will all face.

The one thing that certain poets have taught me: Death is not a blip. It’s forever. We exist, then suddenly we don’t. Religious thinking tends to see death as a New-York-second moment before everlasting life kicks into gear. That way of thinking can lead to madness, even for the most faithful.

Whatever you believe, for now, consider your own death–stay with the “blip.” See it for what it really is.

 

3 comments

  1. In a conversation with my youngest daughter today, she told me that if writing poetry makes me happy to make sure that I do it every day. She is a wise old soul at 20 years of age. I often listen to self motivation podcasts and thought I would see if there were any poetry ones available. As I scrolled through creative writing and poetry titles, I reached the last one which is “the writing bull” I thought, this is a sign. I adore anything with bulls from the time I read “ferdinand” as a child to the fact that my family calls me “stubborn as a bull.” So, I listened to your podcast on death, and had so many creative thoughts inside of me. I am in deep thought as I listened to your explanation of “why” you would write the lines about the sorrowful death of a 12 year old girl and what that meant to you. Its true that when I write of the pain I’ve endured particularly with death, the experiences I’ve had seldom get any relief by simply remembering what happened. However, when my words take me back to that experience, such as my father’s living room while he took his last breath with only my presence there to note his departure, I still can describe every detail of the room including the temperature drop as he left me standing there in complete amazement. It is this description of that time that comfort me now almost 5 years later as I miss him every day.

    1. Dear Kimberly, such a beautiful note, especially what you say about your father, you created a sharp image of that moment in my mind—wonderful writing. It is amazing, isn’t it, how the act of writing brings us to a deeper experience of such important moments.

  2. Thank you Marcos, I appreciate your kind words. Its funny that you used the words, “deeper experience,” to describe the act of writing. People often comment that my writing is “deep” for them when I share something. I never quite know how to take that comment…Do they say it as a compliment or maybe its just their way of being polite without saying that they don’t really understand what it means? Either way, its always up for interpretation such as every single thing in life seems to be. A deeper experience through writing is truly what I strive for. I know that it seldom matters to others as much as the words and meaning do to me. However, if one person can connect something within themselves to any little detail that I’ve included in a poem that I’ve written, that one small thing makes me happy.

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