Yesterday’s The Writer’s Almanac featured one of my favorite poems of all time: Question, by May Swenson:
Body my house
my horse my hound
what will I do
when you are fallen
Where will I sleep
How will I ride
What will I hunt
I used to recite the first lines regularly and hearing that poem in my ears as I ran this morning and caught up on some podcasts brought home once again how ephemeral and fleeting experience and life is. I think I will return to reciting that poem or others like it on a daily basis. The regular reminder of death creates a sharpened edge to the day. The knife edge of melancholy and joy in the moment. The beauty of death is the grace it sheds upon the living.
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I’m working on a website that’s all about how we think about (or refuse to think about) death. Well, I’m working on the plan. Hope to have the site done before I die.
Concur with Bob and Steven. My best friend and I discuss death and dying regularly. Our friends think we’re nuts but “The unexamined life is not worth living” after all.
As Virgil wrote, TEMPUS FUGIT
It is the end of our days that gives a sense of urgency and importance (and sometimes panic) to the days we have. So much to do, such a short life to do it.