Category Archives: death

Sacred space

Gregory, a very dear old friend, died today, just a few minutes after noon. Diagnosed 12 years ago with early onset Alzheimers, this centered, gifted, and creative man has slowly lost the smooth and easy functioning of his graceful body, … Continue reading

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“Ode to the West Wind” by Tony Hoagland

Soon enough it’s going to be another kind of adventure entirely for us to be dying all out of order, waiting to see who’s next, who a- bruptly by surprise, and who psychically equipped to take the nasty needles and … Continue reading

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Am I going to die?

My mother and I were sitting in a small outside garden of her assisted living facility before dinner yesterday. The weather was beautiful. Not too hot. Not too cool. A small breeze. The sounds of a bubbling faux stream behind … Continue reading

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Amazing Grace

President Obama’s eulogy for the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, one of the nine killed during Bible study at the AME church in Charleston, was a powerfully put perspective on race, love, spirituality, justice, and activism. Obama even broke into singing “Amazing … Continue reading

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The only evidence is still leaping topsy turvy inside me

On my way to work yesterday at 6:15 in the morning, I noticed a rabbit in the street just off the median in the center of the road — just sitting there. In the midst of traffic I could not … Continue reading

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“My Skeleton” by Jane Hirshfield

My skeleton, who once ached with your own growing larger, are now, each year imperceptibly smaller, lighter, absorbed by your own concentration. When I danced, you danced. When you broke, I. And so it was lying down, walking, climbing the … Continue reading

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Abraham Lincoln’s favorite poem

Lincoln wrote about this poem, “Mortality” by William Knox (Scottish poet 1789-1825), to his friend Andrew Johnston (not Johnson!): I would give all I am worth, and go in debt, to be able to write so fine a piece as I … Continue reading

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At a Southern California cemetery

So does this mean that someone has just “checked out?”

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“Negative Space” by Ron Koertge

My dad taught me to pack: lay out everything. Put back half. Roll things that roll. Wrinkle-prone things on top of cotton things. Then pants, waist- to-hem. Nooks and crannies for socks. Belts around the sides like snakes. Plastic over … Continue reading

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Created by Jack Ohman for the Sacramento Bee.

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