an old woman at the end of her age

The world is spinning faster into darkness now, it seems to me. But for the old, of course, that is always the way it seems. As my life closes, I look out on a dull prospect perhaps—but secure in the belief that even in the little, unimportant stretch of time I’ve lived, I have known wonders.

I’m not anyone who will be remembered after. I’m another like most, like almost all of these intricate, vivid, longing ones who’ll disappear without a trace that will last beyond the time when the few who knew them are gone too.

But I’m going to dissolve into everything, to rejoin everything that is, no more terrible separation – can’t you see how happy that makes me?

I will have looked out this tiny window of consciousness onto the world for a flickering moment. What a privilege! Among all the mute beings, the dark and silent worlds. And yet the price was high – that separation, that loneliness, our awful gift. We’re turning this world into a cinder now because of it. But why don’t we just see: we will melt back into the world again one day, our matter dispersed, intermingled, to become part of what is looked at, what is experienced. Who knows how many times the particles of my being will be broken apart and recombined with others in the wise, blind, creative, unfolding dance of existence, long past the death of this one world and its star.

And all the time, in spite of us, sweeping us along, sweeping past us – life perhaps expanding always in filaments of conscious light, building towards the day when maybe the whole shining web of galaxies is afire with thought and vision, down every minutest fiber of the great cosmos – all alive!

The cool blue days of my childhood are gone now. It’s hot, or cold, gray, or black. But every so often there will be a day almost like one I remember from long ago, and I feel again that sweetness of the air that seemed to be holding itself in perfect balance for my pleasure, wrapping me in its soft arms like the child I was and saying:

“How I love you! Look at this day; I gave it to you and to everything that lives out of love, nothing but love.”

Shut the window now, I feel as if the dust is choking me.

It’s time; it’s long past time, for silence.

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