stained glass

It’s a beautiful morning and I will be walking out into it in a moment. On such a chill morning, it is good to remember, to keep certain things in mind, where the cutting autumn air lends clarity and perspective to one’s thoughts.

Alan Jackson: Where Were You

The Anchoress: Remembrance and Prayers

James Lileks: “When I was a kid, I was terrified of the End of the World …”

Grim: Enid & Geraint, a poem

It is also good to forget grief when we can, for our lives are short enough and one day in the not too distant future, if we are lucky, we will be the ones mourned. When we ourselves pass, we hope the grieving of those we love will be short, that our memories bring rather joy and strength into their lives, that our ghosts do not haunt but help.

I believe this is what the souls of those whom Charon has carried over demand from us: joy and strength, ferocity and patience. I believe it is right and proper to celebrate those who have died, those who were killed, in whatever joyous way we can find: to carry in our hearts a spark of the eternal life of heroes who perished in the full bloom of courage, to dance with abandon with those we love while we cherish the men and women and children left among us on that bitter day, to celebrate the bonds we and they share with those beyond, to drink dark brew around a fire or a table and tell the stories that make us laugh, to pick up our tools and work with all our might at whatever our hands have found to do.

This kind of memory is like a tall, stained glass window in a cathedral, the pieces painstakingly cut to fit, joined by molten metal, and fearfully crafted. It focuses the glory of the sun into an awe-full story that demands from us everything we are for the brief span of an arc of burning light.

This is the day that the Lord has made, and it is right to rejoice and be glad in it. It is right, though our smiles may be grim or faint or fierce. It is proper, today, as it is every day we have, to call out the names of the dead and love being alive, being faithful, being victorious. The darkness is always on its way.

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