It is Pascha, and we are each holding up a tiny slice of sky. We are each the sweeter for waiting, like layer cakes set up in old-fashioned frosting.
I have thought of death and remembered it. It has come to me as a reminder every day in my bones. The loveliest people are bones underneath.
Bones are testaments to living.
I have loved being alive and warm. I have been so happy and so sad. I have felt pain and love and the flame of candles that burn without consuming.
It has all been a gift, and every moment is a gift.
I look out at the world of living bone people, and I am so glad to see the laughter in their mouths and to hear them hum when they do not think we are listening. They are alive, and I can see them alive and also the bones, and their pasts and futures dance together in this moment of our faces coming near.
What am I going to do about this joy and these bones? We never see them, mostly.
Our grandmothers’ wombs and fathers’ strong hands turn to myrrh in boxes beneath our feet, and we never smell the fragrance of their blessings.
Such a small spot of sky we hold up, and who will know when are gone that the bones left behind still rejoice?
We are not in the habit of looking for life in graves.
There is a wind that blew through the tomb of Lazarus and over the face of Jairus’ daughter and under the gates that kept the dead. But it doesn’t smell of rot. It is life and light. It is the sweetness of beeswax and bay leaves and the incense that only comes when you have waited.
There is no way to be candle enough to hold that flame or to be still as bones to be clothed in flesh by that wind. There is no song that will sound far enough from such a small space as one of us holding up a tiny speck of sky.
So small, and yet that wind woke me up and made me live. It is even now seeping under the door.
It can give you a false impression of your size, the being raised. To you, it is so important, a gift of such all-encompassing dimensions, that you can think you can do anything.
You can forget that even the elder standing and turning to flame was only a small man in a vast universe. Where are his bones? (They are myrrh beneath your feet, sweetening the grave.)
When you are one of the ones raised up, how do you say thank you?