What Lives

A still, small voice.

stone initiation well at quinta da regaleira in portugal

My grandmother used to say something about the darkness of hope. How it bears fruit in the light of wisdom. By watching her when she was living and listening after her death, I knew Grace. This was her name.

Revolt against death, she would say, by remembering the dead; the next breath a reminder that it was their breath before a final exhalation. Knowing this, breathe full and long. To forget is to die a little.

There were pages and pages behind these reminders. I read them as survival manuals for creatures of flesh. They said, be poor. Go down. Be despised, love anyway. Serve instead of demanding service. 

There were maps too, but no territories. They said only: Look––in hunger and thirst, through long nights and vast deserts. There you will find company with the soul of all souls. You will hear the heartbeat and what follows will be the first song of the world. 

You will know it, child. Go down.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I keep watch and listen, mostly in dark places.

4 thoughts on “What Lives”

  1. My grandma was also such a significant inspiration to me. She had some great euphemisms, like saying she would be late for her own funeral, which she of course was. Also, that she’d forget her head if it weren’t attached to her neck, which still me feel better about my AD/HD moments, as well as I can’t think my way out of a paper bag. For all her experiences with trauma, the woman was truly truly amazing. Thank you for this breadcrumb.

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