Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Moving closer

In the flurry and chaos of my work day yesterday, preparing for a workshop, I came across the footage that I've pasted as a link below. I found it deeply moving, watching elephants in the presence of death. I was struck by their solemn and tender response to the remains - the way they step towards the physicality of death, not away from it. Seeing them fondling the bones - the act seemed both sacred and intimate. Some might say I'm anthropomorphosing here, but the sight of them made me weep.
This morning, preparing to leave my warm cave for the chilly Dunedin outdoors, I donned a jacket which I recently picked up from my sister Annie's home, when I visited for her ashes ceremony in March. In the pocket I found her gloves - doubtless last worn by her own, still achingly familiar hands. With the elephants fresh in my memory, I uncurled them from each other, turned them over, touched them with reverence, pulled them onto my fingers, kissed them...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Body and soul

Motivation for this post springs from reading Marylinn's blog over the weekend. She talks about the longing for lively internal connection (the grace that links us head to toe, and lets us be) alongside the challenge of managing a brain that keeps hanging us out to dry. It's a terrific post, and has set all sorts of thoughts in motion for me. This morning, in the sweet hour of quaker silence, I started thinking about those questions of delivering mercy and compassion to self, burdened as we are, with flawed 'equipment'. I remembered a quote by Irish writer John Odonohue; the exact words elude me, but the notion he expressed was that our soul holds our body, (not the the other way around). I love the idea of such a configuration. It makes sense to me, and steadies me somehow. That mind and body will go about their rock and roll business - sometimes out of kilter, sometimes not, as is their wont. And all the while there's a holding soul, complete, compassion-able, a source - shaped to fit. Albumen to our rollicky, yolky lives.