Born Toward Dying
Richard John Neuhaus 1936 - 2009 RIP
We are born to die. Not that death is the purpose of our being born, but we are born toward death, and in each of our lives the work of dying is already underway. The work of dying well is, in largest part, the work of living well. Most of us are at ease in discussing what makes for a good life, but we typically become tongue-tied and nervous when the discussion turns to a good death. As children of a culture radically, even religiously, devoted to youth and health, many find it incomprehensible, indeed offensive, that the word "good" should in any way be associated with death. Death, it is thought, is an unmitigated evil, the very antithesis of all that is good. Death is to be warded off by exercise, by healthy habits, by medical advances. What cannot be halted can be delayed, and what cannot forever be delayed can be denied. But all our progress and all our protest notwithstanding, the mortality rate holds steady at 100 percent.
Born Toward Dying...read the whole thing…
Richard John Neuhaus
National Catholic Reporter
The death of Father Richard John Neuhaus on Jan 8 was experienced here as if a family member had passed away. Such was Father Neuhaus's importance and impact on my own spiritual growth and development. Indeed, a family member did pass on Christmas Eve as there were also a few other deaths and near deaths this Christmas season for our family. My late father's only surviving brother died Dec 24 at the age of 84. His widow's brother then died of cancer the same week. My mother also was rushed to emergency and hospitalized just days before Christmas after collapsing in public. She was treated, placed on intravenous and stabilized to the point that she was able to return home with medication but she's 77 and suffers from other ailments so we were concerned but relieved that she’s alright for now. News was also delivered over Christmas that on old friend from the 1970's Island we once knew in the springtime of our lives had recently died from bone cancer. Her name was "Blue" [see previous post].
On top of all this living and dying in three quarter time came the news that my favorite uncle was scheduled to have his left leg amputated due to critical loss of circulation in the deteriorated limb. The major operation was necessary and according to doctors needed to be done right away but hospital staffing problems postponed surgery almost a week while he suffered in agony and uncertainty regarding his fate. It's all over now, surgery was successful and he's recovering, but a very dramatic time for my uncle John and his loving family. He's 79. Christmas itself was blessed, spirit filled, peaceful and serene this year.
As for me...
You may not like my appearance
May not like my song
May not like the way I talk
But you like the way I'm gone
I'm a Freeborn Man
My home is on my back
I drove every inch of highway
Every bit of backroad
Every mile of railroad track
Git it guys...Freeborn Man...
Tony Rice, Mark O'Connor, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas & Bela Fleck
Here's an intelligent take on quite another Tony that's mighty well worth considering... Father Barron reflects on The Sopranos http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=a5bzImAl5JQ&feature=related
Meanwhile life goes on outside all around you… https://www.watchobsession.org/
Alright...two more for the road...let's kick it with "Frankie Belle"
Rhonda Vincent & The Rage w/guest fiddler Molly Cherryholmes
Josh Williams [acoustic guitar]...man can this guy play...
And as a special dedication for the souls of our dearly departed...
Norman Blake will play us out with his brilliantly nimble, "Salty"
Lastly, from the songwriting pen of a son of a son of a sailor...
And it's dance with me, dance with me
Take me to stars that you know
Come on and dance with me
I want so badly to go
Well the sunrise'll bring on
The sleep that's escaped us
And everyone's off to their bed
There'll be huggin' and squeezin'
A little pleasin' and teasin'
And rubbin' of each others' head
So won't you dream on comrades
Seems nothing affects you
Nothing, no reason nor rhyme
Cause everyone here is just more than contented
To be living and dying in three quarter time. - Jimmy Buffet