Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Great Divide

At the local cemetery on All Souls Day: from dust thou art . . .
"Remember, O Thou Man"*

“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

Chief Tecumseh, 1768 - 1813
Shawnee Nation, Indiana

Similarly, Canadian singer and composer Loreena McKennitt
sings of "the great divide":

"Standing on the bridge that crosses
The river that goes out to the sea
The wind is full of a thousand voices
They pass by the bridge and me

from "All Souls Night"
words & music by Loreena McKennitt

You can find this song on her CD The Visit, perfect for this time of year and for this triumvirate of haunting mystic holidays: Halloween, All Saints, and All Souls. If you find yourself filled with seasonal sadness, McKennitt's music may not exactly cheer you up, but it will enter your heart.

* Also a good song for Lent.

Autumnal Grave Decorations

1 comment:

  1. Also:

    Chief Joseph ~

    Chief Seattle ~