But Death

I did not anticipate having a child
Would make me think so much
About death.
Sure, I ask the responsible queries concerning
What would happen to my son were I to die.
Thus wills have been written, living trusts created.
But my death thoughts mostly do not concern duty.
Rather something more
Foundational, basic, earthy.

They say we feel settled when three generations exist.
When my father’s heart stopped I was childless,
Standing alone with no generation before or following me.
Only death approached.
I thought, expected, hoped
Having a child would assuage the looming fear.
Not so.
My son does open my eyes to life
With his constant firsts
He is Neil Armstrong and Leif Erikson every day.
I want him to make me forget mortality.
But death. But death.

My son reminds me I have a father and he died.
Each day my son grows I am a day closer.
His gracious and wonderful and very existence
Signifies I am next in line.
He will, God willing, bury me and mourn me.
I do not wish that pain on him,
It merely is the best order this side of the Resurrection.
Gratefully he grounds me.

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For November 9, 2016, January 20, 2017, and Beyond

Be shocked, but not naive.
Surprised to the point of action, not stupefied.
Never take this as normal.
No accommodation.
Foster astonishment at evil and good.
Be maladjusted.

Be angry, but do not sin.

Be angry and stand
Be angry and walk
Be angry and listen
Be angry and talk
Be angry and work
Be angry and rest
Be angry and boycott
Be angry and invest
Be angry and laugh
Be angry and weep
Be angry and share
Be angry and keep
Be angry and write
Be angry and read
Be angry and follow
Be angry and lead
Be angry and whisper
Be angry and shout
Be angry and believe
Be angry and doubt
Be angry and sit
Be angry and dance
Be angry and hold
Be angry and advance
Be angry and sing
Be angry and pray
Be angry and move
Be angry and pray
Be angry and love
Be angry and pray
Be angry and hope
Be angry and pray.

Do not grow weary of doing right.

(With thanks to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Apostle Paul.)