Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Vacant Month, and Celebrating a Life

A friend sent me a note asking, “What, no thoughts in December?” She had checked my blog sight, which has no entries for this month. Not for a dearth of thoughts. Our world – both my immediate environment and the one brought through the windows of newspapers and television – are reeling with activity. All of it cries out for comment, analysis, action. I have failed to conjure up the emotional energy to pursue. Focus.

Pam and I did attend a life celebration today. A friend's wife passed away on Christmas Day after a long tussle with Alzheimer's. The family and a large community of friends gathered in First Church Albany for a memorial service this morning. Very moving, very uplifting, full of song, story, verse and life. So I will end the year with my last-day-of-the-month poem about today. In memory and celebration of Janice Luben.

So We Sing

We sang to celebrate a life today,
the voices of family and friends raising
praise for a girl, a woman, a wife, a person, a soul
whose footprints will travel in our own shadow
while we walk our own journey,
striving for faith and grace.

She was among us in the simplest of form:
a plain jar sitting in a small woven basket,
blanketed and nestled with pine boughs;
earthly things we can touch,
carrying the message that,
while the beauties of life are absorbed in our own senses,
the height of grace is brought by faith outside our flesh.

So we sing,
voices, trumpets, piano, organ,
in verse, story, prayer, poem, toccata --
And the music reached the rafters.