“Death Be Not Proud!”

Happy Hump Day, y’all!

Remember, “we’ve got to get ova da hump”!  I am in a great mood this morning … just grateful!  Have you ever had that feeling … lately?!  I get it quite often here.  Now, everybody is different.  In fact, we each are different at “different” stages of our lives!!  Most folks don’t consider “death” to be part of the process of our lives as we know it.  There is so much intrigue and fascination with the “hereafter” and what happens next!  Most people don’t think that far ahead about “life”.  We have been conditioned and trained to focus on how we will maintain “financial independence” in a “world economy” based on capital.  When do we get a chance to “look at, care for and love” ourselves?!?  “Retirement” is the catchphrase very commonly used as the time when you get to “love yourself”!  What were “we” doing the rest of the time?!?  What if we run out of time to “love ourselves and be loved by others”?!?  “Oh well …”

I think back to my days of studying “British and American Poetry”  at St. Paul’s School and one writer’s poem, “Death Be Not Proud”, caught my attention.  In that poem, John Donne attempts to discredit the power of “death” over our lives.  It seems to me that we live each day not keeping track of where we are or who we are as we try to sustain a system whose goal it is is to sustain itself at our “expense” – physical, mental and definitely spiritually.  In my studies of sociology, I read a lot of “material” attempting to deal with the “aura” of death.  Most of such material emphasizes “death” as the “end of life”, not another stage or “level of existence”.  How does that make “one” feel?  For me, I WOULD feel rather “finite” …. like after this, I won’t be “needed around here” anymore!  But I don’t … I have learned to embrace the concept that there is “life after death”, that we are spirits consisting of energy that has inhabited these bodies we carry around!  Sounds “spacey”, right?!?  It sounds better to me than “you are no longer needed here – just die!”

Just a couple of days ago, I was at my favorite “hang out”, Puerta Pirata, and one of the well known ex-Pats here, Cleo Robertson author and business woman extraordinaire, made a comment.  She said, “You heard that the guy with the bad leg who rode the bicycle all the time … he died somewhere a few nights ago and the vultures ate him.  Well, you know … we all go back to nature somehow.”  I sat there for a minute … I remember the guy.  At first when I would speak to him, he wouldn’t respond.  I kept it up … and after a few weeks maybe a month of me seeing him and saying hello, he replied.  According to Cleo’s account he was suffering from many health issues.  He was a “regular” around town and at one super market that I pass each morning on my way to the beach.  He, too, was homeless … it seems.

At this time, I have been feeling extremely relaxed and have been organizing things that will make living here more comfortable.  Some folks ask me, “Is this your ‘forever happy place?'”  And my response is, “For now, yes!”  Do I have to be “finite” in order for folks to understand me … or themselves?!?  I beg to differ!  While my mother struggled through her last days of “life” with Alzheimer’s and high blood pressure before her fall and ultimate brain hemorrhaging, she often talked about “transformation”.  Many of the Bible passages she read as death loomed at her door referred to this “transformation” after death …  I became curious about this “transformation” thing and have begun to explore how it might apply to me.  What thinketh you?

A quick yet special “shout out” to a very special friend, pilates and yoga instructor, spin specialist, Orange Fitness expert, mother and wife and daughter … sister, too … wishing her a Happy Birthday yesterday!  Lydia Richardson sent me an e-mail reply last Friday that made me appreciate her … and the friends like her whom I have been able to make along this journey … more than ever!  Catch you later!


John I. Cook, Director

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