Loving Death

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

by Robbie Barton

“If I can learn to love death then I can begin to find refuge in change.” 
– Terry Tempest Williams

Ancestors, I do not envy you for your long-held panic
But rather love you for coming back to life in the face of death
For building community and marching for justice from six feet away
For rediscovering the essential guided by your own ancient biology

Ancestors, I cannot imagine what it felt like
To tense and harden at your melanated brothers and sisters
To numb to their death, their pain, their lack of breath
Yourselves taut in fear and strangers to your skin and pulse

Ancestors, I do not envy you for your brilliant ignorance
But rather love you for embracing the mystery
For giving up your fashioned crown to sway to wind’s howl and the chorus of trees
For rebuilding from the walking crawling soaring wisdom of 4 billion years

Ancestors, I cannot imagine what it felt like
To watch the permafrost melt and the oceans boil
To witness millions lost to violent storms and jagged wildfires and know
Yourselves as the careless spark for all this earthskin fire

Ancestors, I do not envy you for your unexpected sacrifice
But rather love you for your artful repurposing
For sifting through junk and sodden myths to find new creativity
For using the depth of loss as your deft canvass

Ancestors, I cannot imagine what it felt like
To watch islands swallowed, cities deserted, and rainforests blanched
To see the faces of the refugees in boats, and the water wars rage, and walls go up
Yourselves left helpless despite all your good intentions and hail mary mobilizations

Ancestors, I do not envy you for your tragic heroism
But rather love you for your active hope
For surrendering to your full throated failures, cries in a cavernous truth mandala
For opening your heart to break again and again, like violent waves crashing

Ancestors, I cannot imagine what it felt like
To see your neighbors evicted and friends stripped penniless
To watch the powerful few cudgel and cripple in the name of law
Yourselves betrayed by the unquenchable pyramid of greed you held up

Ancestors, I do not envy you for your depthless loss
But rather love you for your vulnerability
For learning to embrace decay, like maggots that gnaw carcass to bone
For burying yourselves deep in the humus so that we could sprout

Ancestors, I cannot imagine what it felt like
To be consumed by the dark and learn to love disintegration
To be mourners, survivors, visionaries, and doulas all at once
Yourselves the fierce, wholehearted tendrils bound together through the turning



Robbie Barton
(age 32) is an emergent Work That Reconnects facilitator, environmental educator, yogi, poet-artist, teacher-student, edgewalker, and heart revolutionary based in Berkeley, CA. He humbly offers his gifts as an artist, teacher, storyteller, community advocate, and bridge builder to the greater task of birthing the healthy, beautiful, just, and regenerative world our hearts know is possible.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.