Contemplative Wednesday

All that is left to one who grieves
Is convalescence. No change of heart or spiritual
Conversion, for the heart has changed
And the soul has been converted
To a thing that sees
How much it costs to lose a friend it loved.
It has grown past conversion to a world
Few enter without tasting loss
In which one spends a long time waiting
For something to move one to proceed.
It is that inner atmosphere that has
An unfamiliar gravity or none at all
Where words are flung out in the air but stay
Motionless without an answer,
Hovering about one’s lips
Or arguing back to haunt
The memory with what one failed to say,
Until one learns acceptance of the silence
Amidst the new debris
Or turns again to grief
As the only source of privacy,
Alone with someone loved.
It could go on for years and years,
And has, for centuries,
For being human holds a special grief
Of privacy within the universe
That yearns and waits to be retouched
By someone who can take away
The memory of death.

– Herbert Mason’s Gilgamesh, 2003. The earliest versions of Gilgamesh are dated circa 2150-2000 BCE.


3 Responses to Contemplative Wednesday

  1. chickdrummer says:

    God, that’s a great quotation. Makes me want to re-read it. I don’t think my 11th grade English teacher did it justice.

  2. Lisa says:

    This is a marvelous quote. Thank you for sharing it here.

    Indeed, we are forever changed by death. My father has been gone for over 17 years, but I dreamt about him last night. Weird.

    And the death of my dear friend, Ann, last May is still a fresh wound in my soul. I miss her so much and have moments where I am overcome with disbelief and longing.


    I believe, too, that we are affected by the deaths of those we never knew. After the tsunami a couple of years ago, I couldn’t breathe for about a month. From an energy standpoint – and because we’re all connected – it is impossible to have over 200,000 souls leave the planet and not have a seismic shift take place.

    And yet, death, being something we all experience connects us in a unique way. We are bonded together in a club no one wants to belong to. Our membership has a high price. But it’s our common denominator and, if we’re lucky, we can gain support and understanding from other members of the club.

  3. firewings says:

    That’s beautiful Lisa.

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