Wednesday, May 19, 2010

From Sharon Thompson, Maine

I'm no gardener & I'm not religious. But after Rhonda told me she had ovarian cancer, I found myself outside on my knees planting lavender, thinking I'm doing this in remembrance of her, and feeling that I understood the last-supper request Jesus made of his friends for the first time. No founding of a church, no crusades. Just sharing bread and wine and memories.

So many wonderful things come to mind to do in memory of Rhonda:

pluck hot wild raspberries along a path or roadside; sit still & quiet on a beach or mountaintop at sunset or dawn; make things last, use them broken; plant flowers, ideas, friendships; let piles of papers and laundry accumulate rather than leave important work half-done or miss the chance for time with friends; check the I Ching and remember perseverance furthers all; play Scrabble as if life depends on it; anagram the words on shampoo bottles; mix things up like the alphabet – people, ideas, plans; when someone expresses shame or fear, take their hands & say, "you're just like me;" chomp aromatic take-out in movies, fall asleep, wake up with a start, asking, "what's happening?"; love women; go way out of the way to visit gardens; in restaurants, ask, "and how is it prepared?" about each item on a lengthy menu, then order what you wanted all along & talk a friend into splitting it; grab every chance to take a boat – ferries, circle lines, kayaks, canoes; sing at the top of your lungs, pitch no object; point beauty out; shake & shout good ideas until they sharpen, multiply, deepen, and spread; contest bias until prejudice itself gives up in exhaustion; swim in salt water; start work before dawn, keep going into the wee hours of the night, then catch 40 snoring winks whenever time's wasting – in seminars, meetings, movies, plays, operas, on buses, trains, planes; arrive late rather than not at all; befriend women; speak truth to power and to everyone else you can buttonhole; fit as much as possible in, then more; drink red wine, eat brie, bluefish; shop for bargains & buy lots so there's always enough to share; fight for women; prioritize people, politics, and pleasure over utility bills & taxes; put anger & joy alike to work for social justice; do everything possible, then more; treasure cantankerous as well as easy friends; let grudges fall away; pass things on – ideas, bargains, knowledge, inspiration, love; eat bread and work and drink wine with friends as long as you can; then tell everyone who loves you it's all right, you've done your work & enjoyed your share; take a last deep breath and let go. . . . .