Thursday, 25 November 2010

Death is always one hair's breadth away

That is the title of this painting, which is a study for a larger painting I am starting. I am sharing it today to honour the passing of my cousin's husband, Colin Slee, who died peacefully early this morning. He was only 65 years old and only learned weeks ago that he had cancer, and now he is gone.

Death is always only one hair's breadth away. You or I could go at any time. On journeys with my Spirit teachers they have impressed this on me - think how fine a hair's breadth is , & Death can move his hand a fraction.. and take you. Just like that.
And then they told me to do this painting.

I am reading a wonderful book at the moment called 'Being with Dying' by Joan Halifax. She has worked with shamans from different indigenous cultures & runs a Zen Buddhist centre in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has 40 years experience of sitting with people who are dying. The book is very wise & full of buddhist meditations about death , & preparing for one's own , & caring for others. I find it a great help to think of death as something we can all be preparing for all through life . That great step on over the threshold into the mystery...

I know Colin's christian faith will have helped him & those with him prepare for death. There are so many paths.. but I think it behoves us to prepare. Old language seems the best here. And I thank Colin for all his life gave me.

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