Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"tending, as all music does, toward silence..."

Mary Oliver has a poem called When Death Comes, which ends with these lines:
When it's over, I don't want to wonder

if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,

or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.
My mom did not simply visit. She made her life her own. She was the oldest of eight girls, and lived all her life in the world of books and ideas, in love with literature, full of curiosity. As she lay dying -- that long, drawn-out wait for the hungry bear -- the few books remaing from her once expansive library were her most treasured material possessions.

My thanks to all of you for your expressions of sympathy. She had a long good life and was ready to go.

You may have missed Sunday's Musing which Tom posted while I was away. It is a revision of a Globe column I wrote in 1997, although not much revision was necessary. Scientists are now more united than ever in the reality and the danger of global warming, but the public remains deeply confused. Meanwhile, I'm the fella with the hookah, so I'm poking a little fun at myself.