Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sitting with George

Just sitting.
You, draped in gorgeous brocades.
Me, just breathing.
I feel that we are breathing together,
yet when I pause, I know
that you are gone.
Eyes and mouth half open--
passing away.
Waves and waves of breath.

The fear and uncertainty of sitting with a corpse for the first time--incense burning to mask the smell of death and decay. A strange contrast of ritualized order and chaos. The care and deliberation of the fine, brilliantly colored silks, the shrine, smoke wafting through the air, and the chilling, tearful rawness of sitting with the lifeless body of a beloved teacher and friend. Cold. I remember feeling very cold--a chill that wouldn't leave--possibly from the dry ice packed beneath George as he lay there, mouth open, glasses slightly askew...