Thursday, November 30, 2006

I pass dead people

From our place of temporary abode in Winterport to my place of work in Ellsworth and back again - that is how I spend 2 hours of each workday. I've never had a commute that long before, and it certainly has made me anxious to move into the new house, which will cut that commute to about 10 minutes. In spite of that, a long commute does provide me with some reflection time.

I pass two cemeteries on this commute. Back in Tennessee, it seemed like there were cemeteries around every corner, but up here in Maine they are few in number, probably because cremation is very popular here.

Cemeteries have always fascinated me; I'm not sure why. In one way, because of my spiritual beliefs that the body is only the temporary holding place of the spirit, a cemetery is insignificant. It's just a repository. But in another way, the symbolism is too strong to ignore. I pass dead people and they talk to me.

Lest you think I've lapsed into schizophrenia, I want to emphasize that I'm not actually hearing voices. But the dead do speak to me, reminding me of life's fragility. They encourage me to keep my priorities straight. They urge me to make my life fulfilling while I can. They remind me that all this can change in an instant. There's nothing like death to get one to thinking about life.

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