Saying goodbye...

We were planning for a little retreat in Vermont - quiet rest, bookstores, music and art museums - but today we are headed back to New York State to say goodbye to my wife's mother. It appears that she suffered a stroke late on Easter and is now on life support until the family can gather and say their farewells. So little control in all the stuff that really matters, right? And so little time, too. (I know the mystics tell us that we have all the time that there is but... it never feels like enough.)

JT and Carly sing one of my favorite goodbye prayers: my late sister, Linda, asked me to sing this at her son's funeral (he was only 5) as we were both James Taylor junkies - and two years later I sang it at her funeral, too. This John Updike poem, "Evening Concert, Sainte-Chapelle" comes to mind:

The celebrated windows flamed with light
directly pouring north across the Seine;
we rustled into place. Then violins
vaunting Vivaldi's strident strength,
then Brahms,
seemed to suck with their passionate sweetness,
bit by bit, the vigor from the red,
the blazing blue, so that the listening eye
saw suddenly the thick black lines, in shapes
of shield and cross and strut and brace, that held the holy glowing fantasy together.
The music surged; the glow became a milk,
a whisper to the eye, a glimmer ebbed
until our beating hearts, our violins
were cased in thin but solid sheets of lead.

Blessings to you all... more later.


Rev Nancy Fitz said…
I'm sorry to hear of the sad reason for your change in plans. I trust you will feel the surrounding comfort of the Holy One during this time when the veil gets thin between places of now and that which is 'more'.
Anonymous said…
I'm so sorry about your mother-in-law! Our prayers are with all of you.

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