Eyes wide open. Naked as we came.
I feel, I must defend this song. I think I like it so much not for what it's about -- overly sentimental couple obsessed with dying? -- but for what it reminds me of. Going home.
I've been thinking about dying. I was telling my mom how I was struggling to understand why some people, or I suppose I meant believers, are so afraid of dying. "Death" seems to be shorthand for "the end of what we love" and I think that's an unfair association. I love living the more I try it, but it seems to me things only get better after death. In Keturah and Lord Death, which I haven't read, but nevertheless, I like this part: "You experience something similar [to death] every day. It is as familiar to you as bread and butter." "Yes," I said. "It is like every night when I fall asleep." "No. It is like every morning when you wake up." Dying must be like waking up. Or, maybe dying isn't, but going home is. Eyes wide open, stripped to our souls. Entering a different sort of "life".
And I suppose I can gather how that would be scary. But there's so much to gain, isn't there! Sanctification, and understanding, and how wonderful home must be. Being free from oneself! There was a line, in one of the poems I read today, that phrased it so incisively, but I can't remember it. Seeing Jesus, seeing justice and holiness, and knowing. Everything, everything I've needed to know. How can I fear that? How can I not look forward to that?
I am so hopelessly young, and confined to my youthful perspective. I don't know what dying is like, not really. I don't really understand how or why death and dying hurt. I forget I'm not invincible. That doesn't change anything, of course. Knowing my youth informs my feelings on the subject doesn't change what or how I think of it. I was so struck, reading in Wendell Berry's Given, about living and dying and being old. His perspective was so different from mine, and I was nearly jealous of clearly he understood the passing of moments and the nature of the grave. I wish I could connected the beauty of living on earth with the reality of it ending. After death things are different altogether. Intellectually, I know it will be better that way. And that's fine with me. But I forget how throat-closing, heart-aching death is, while I'm on this side of the line.
I didn't open this blog window intending to talk about death. Which is good, I suppose, because I did a terrible job of talking about it. I have so many concepts begging to be given words, fleshed out and articulated before I forget them, but they're not jumbled per usual. I feel a rare sort of clarity. I'm trying to remember this feeling now, preserve this moment, so I can convince myself later when I descend into the cloud of confusion again that peace of mind exists.
Easing out of NCFCA is a slow ripping sort of sensation. When Tim told me of this, I thought I understood, but experiencing my own last competition season I appreciate the feeling. I don't like things being different. But mostly things are the same, so that's nice. I'm being mindful to absorb each little moment, storing up feelings and memories for when I'll need them. I'm remembering I still have three tournaments to go, and my favorite thing isn't ending just yet. But I want to mentally prepare myself for when it does.
"Wake up, it's no use pretending . . ."