the taboo words

and so i said – i will die one day, that’s a fact. and my colleagues at work went berserk with ‘shush, don’t say so’ and ‘you do not mean it’, and ‘how can you say so, we must think of living forever’. and i thought – why should i succumb to the cult of…

upon the event of death of Terry Pratchett

death is efficient. what else shall i say – it is efficient to the last minute detail. which makes it … deadly, i guess. or welcome, if one knows of its coming, and knows its purpose – to release the living from the burden of life. Terry Pratchett is among my favourite authors, together with…

the ultimate test*

death is the ultimate test – it is irreversible, a one-way-only gate, a membrane that filters you out and then returns to its stillness. death is both never and near, certain and so unknown that those who live the illusion of total control spend their days in fear. the ultimate test, where the win or the…

different lucidity

they say – and i have seen it actually – there is a moment of lucidity before the final departure. the whole of today is torn by flashbacks. of pictures of sudden bursts of coherence and actual joy when my mother spoke like she was better. of the little flutter of hope. and then, the…

comparatively

even when death is but passing, it towers and looms over the traveller home; the things important on the linear path get brushed under the quiet rock, the immense carpet made by transcendent hands; death is but passing – you know it, and i, and yet we stay

Eight. No word for ‘die’

some classroom discussion made me look deeper into the old english vocabulary for ending of life. and here is a thing: there is no general verb for ‘die’ in old english. no word for ‘just stop living’. there are words like steorfan, sweoltan, beon/wesan dead, beon/wesan slihte, and so on. or words that described a…

the dead, liturgy, control issues and living backwards

‘when people get to pray for their dead to rest in peace,’ she said, ‘they feel more at rest.’ this was part of discussion of the things to be done on the last sunday of the church year. the argument of why there should be another worship service dedicated to prayers for the dead ran…

kad dzirkstele aizlec

turpat pie celiņa, it kā aizmidzis, zālīti apsedzies, kaķīts atlaidies; pelēka vilniņa, viss melnās strīpiņās, dzeltena pakakle, pusviru actiņas- guļ kā tāds plausītis. zīlīte atnāca, zvirbulīts pieleca, ne ķepa nekustas; tepat viņš staigāja, draudziņu meklēja, murrāt murrāja, cilvēku gaidīja; rītiņa agrumā apstājās sirsniņa, mauriņa lizdiņā, kaķentiņš aizmiga.

where to go when one is dead

stumbled on this by accident: Rīgas Ziemeļu izpilddirekcijas Dzimtsarakstu nodaļas Miršanas reģistrācijas sektors atrodas Aizsaules ielā 1a. Apmeklētāju pieņemšanas laiki [..] (literally: the Register office for registering deaths is located in 1a Otherworld Street. Clients are expected at the following hours: [..]) hilarious.

indigo

the feather clouds all spread out like fingers to keep the indigo sky from falling to pieces we enter the little stars of scilla, ink on green all my steps, all your steps coloured a time by the rudimentary snowdrifts, liverleaf anxious to look, to be seen all in blues of breaking they come in…

it was long ago about now, and is one more story

the roads had all gone muddy, and the trees were far from budding. it was late april in the 1980s, and as it happens in our family, another funeral could not proceed with dignity. because the lorry that had the coffin just got stuck in the mud and nothing would move it. and all the…

rose vs. begonia

roses look cool, and are interesting to raise. begonias look green and red and white and yellow, and are not presumptuous. but if asked to choose between them, i will probably say that i like chrysanthemums best. those shaggy, yellow or white, heavy-headed flowers with the bitter smell. kiku-no-hana.

funeral coffee

the kitchen is ever dark, and cold, and cave-like, and sombre. starting the fire, on gas or in the cooking range. the quiet determinism of those present in the house for the morning. the smell of sadness, the unspoken collectiveness of all people waiting. the setting-up of the pots, the pouring of water, the measuring…

rites

rites and rituals make the world achievable, structured, thinkable. lists go in threes, and if one is missing, we add the etc, just to complete the ritual of lists going in threes. there is the personal morning ritual with the beverage and alarm, and hunting of socks, and the greetings, and partings – the oil…

suddenly

wind gusts breach my window. again i think of the lost souls confused by streetlamps in their navigation.

floral disaster

now, here is a thing. in case you have some potted plants you want to do a genocide against, try this – send them to me to a death camp. whatever i try, whatever i do, the plants just keep dying on me. the heather died in september.

four – mute love

when love does not want  to interfere, it becomes mute. it exists, yet is unpronounced, unfulfilled an unfinished, as love can find its fullness only in the unity with the other it is directed at. such love dies  – as a plant that has been cut in two. or sprouts into strange and bizarre things…

proportions

the fewer of us, the more of family graves we inherit. the more of graves, the less time to our life. the less time, the more of running. the more of running, the more graves.

sacirsti ritmi

es klusēšu skaļi kā klusē lielgabali gadsimtu drupās. kā zāle aug, lēni, es iesakņošos starp ēnām, kur lapas trupēs. es elpošu akli kā nenoķerts zaglis nakšu krustcelēs. un kad es sabrukšu kopā ar maskām un ilūzijām, tu mani neatstāj, Tu mani neatstāj.

the night

and so i was standing there, in the darkness, and listening. to the bat song, and to the trees talking to the wind. to the smell of almost fallen leaves, and raw earth from the fresh fields. and how the stars move and the clouds stand still. so simple. so irreversible. life moves from a…