Maybe at the end of it all, I will return to my water.
I will return to the womb and the sign that I was born into.
Perhaps for you it is a return to the fire that lit two cells together and created a kaleidoscopic swirl of flame that gave you flesh for all these years.
And we will each return to our constellation in the sky and become just one more twinkle that silences the confusion of the beach-walkers and the mountain-climbers, if even for a second. We will become the wisdom of the universe that hushes the discontent of these mortal earth dwellers and reminds them that this is an orchestration of such vast expansion, and that humans were perhaps not made to figure any of it out.
And in the final moments of my life, when I have lived exactly the way that I have lived (nothing more and nothing less), I will perhaps know fear and perhaps will not. Perhaps I will fear the transition from one place to another, perhaps I will not even be aware that it’s happening. Perhaps I will welcome with open arms and think, my God, I was born so I could die.
I can speculate all night about whether there will be fear, but what I know without speculation is that there will be a hug. There will be a hug and a welcoming from the ground beneath me that happily takes my flesh and knows exactly what to do with it. As if mommy-Earth has been waiting for my bones to bake her pies and grow her trees and let more whales flow upon her surface.
And when my body is hugged—hugged so very tightly and with so much love—I will let myself trust. I will let myself trust because that is how I want to go.
And I do not think that is the end. But regardless of whether or not it is the end, it does not matter.
It does not matter because what matters now is life.
What matters right now is the press of my fingers into the pads of my keyboard, and the oil piles on my D key from moisturizing with too much macadamia nut oil right before I sat down to write. What matters now is me noticing the furrow in my forehead and taking in my life through breath to offer myself release.
And when I come to that threshold—that little place in time that is all too insignificant, but seems like the biggest thing in the world when we look at it right now—the only thing that will matter is each adjacent moment unfolding itself to the next place.
Like those vast places in the universe where clouds of dust move incomprehensibly slowly just to gather and play with gravity. And the key is in the speed, for it is only in incomprehensible slowness that the dust particles adjacent to each other find their way to sticking and eventually find their way to stardom.
And I, like those clouds of dust, will move so slowly, and will watch each beat hum its way to finality, and each synapse conclude in reverence, and when the moment comes right before the end—that little time right in-between having a body powered with life and not having a body powered with life, I will feel love.
I will feel love because that is my birthright. I was born from love—a manifestation of it completely. And I do not mean love from a man and woman coming together (although there’s that, too), but I mean love from the universe who says, come play for a while, child, I have space for you here, let me give you air and water and earth and food, and I will also give you friends and music and words and dance, and after that, when you decide to join up with me again, I will give you my entire kingdom.
There will be no discontent, no fight, no struggle to understand the things that allude me.
There will be change and movement, because that is what physics guarantees me. There will be peace and love, because that is what my mommy-Earth built me from. There will be enlightenment, because I say so.
This is how I think we’ll die.
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Editor: Catherine Monkman