There once was a man named Billy. Billy was born an idea: he was a story. He knew he needed to get out on a stage for the world and all of his short life he prepared and he prepared for his life’s big show.
It took him years to grow enough, to find the right voice deeper and now much more full of wisdom. He was ready, tall and older and filled with a grand old tale.
He would perform a few shows before the light at the top took him away for another time.
But now there is no billy, so grown and so wise. When Billy is born next there are lights every, photos and screens and videos to stretch billy out. They each take away a piece of his story. They each ask for his focus. His attention is withered and his eyes cannot surprise this crowd.
He rushes on stage just a few years of age, quickly sharing a brief moment that they can capture together, before all of the pieces are gone, and Billy is gone too.
It is such a shame he will say. The life of a story has gone far away. He will hope for a deeper, longer day where good and evil battle again, and wisdom rises for more than just a few moments of one’s time. He longs to grow and live and love but here he on this stage he cannot stay.
Dying is like fireworks. I imagine
our souls ready to rise up
the clouds moving through us
the passion flows
a spark of a smile
glows, glows, glows
Leaving our skin
It is the fire ready
the warmth of love
leaving the body -
the soul kissing the sky.
A fierce mark for just
one second of this life.
We are the colors on the sky dancing on.
I felt well nourished from a day with my father and sister. We went to church, visited our grandfather in the home, and spend the day together.
But it was the ceremony at the church that struck me most. The priest lit a candle for each man and women, nine total, lost in the Charleston attacks. A black man with a soulful song sang high and proud with praise and reverence for those lost.
I cried. When an attack happens, any shooting or horrible crime in masses, my immediate response is one of defense: I disconnect. I fear the media for it’s too dramatic mis-tellings, and I fear the very violent truth.
My reaction is disbelief. Then it is anger and sadness.
I also fear that a world so drawn to screens and comforts can only be disrupted by such brutality. That it will be so again and again, because this is the way to seek our attention. This is how you can churn a story that marks a place in history for the sick and twisted.
But the priest said it so elegantly today - may we seek and provide comfort and healing, leadership and unity through such times. This is the very opposite of what a hate filled man who speaks with a language of violence would want.
We all deal with a confused web of emotions, our words and our survival tactics out at the forefront, exploited again with each act of violence spreading the wildfire. I fear what happens when we learn to breath in the smoke and accept the shocks that settle in us, to await the moment of self-eruption.
I write and I pray for the healing waters we carry with us to be shared. We can work to heal for the future.
We are always shedding. Sometimes it’s painful, sometimes a release.
It happens at times of transition. A new job, a new town, a new friend. In order to fit a new beginning we must peel back layers.
A small piece falls off from the last apartment. A new suite slips on for the new job. A shoe or two are put on to help us better walk forward. Because we are changing shape now.
There are the painful partings, knowing when a friend out of the past will remain in the past now. Outgrown. No longer on the same journey. The colors and the warmth and the size were all there once, but now they are too small. It is not for you.
They do not wear or support you right. It is time to go.
We are always shedding. But that's alright. We have many so many layers to live and to leave.