Afterlife

At some time or another, we all entertain the questions, "Is there a life after our bodies die? Do we have an immortal soul? What is this afterlife like?" As our bodies age, the urgency of these questions become more immediate. As we look at the state of the world, regardless of our personal religious beliefs (or non-beliefs) it’s hard to reconcile the concept of justice without some belief in another system to counterbalance the one that’s visible to us. I won’t offer you a polemic on a topic about which so much has already been written, except to share with you the following poem to set your own thoughts in flight.
 
THIS AFTERLIFE
 
Children play dead so well
because the past calls them.
Their tiny hands burrow
lightly into the warm sand
at the shore of words.
 
Remember how you hid
under blankets, how you closed
the eyes of the world?
 
How you crouched in the closet
thick with wet wool
and camphor at the edge
of the murmuring room?
 
Ghosts spy on parents
from the corner of the house,
on the bodies they are sent
to fill as they wait
for waves of light
to push them through the door.
 
Gary Stein
 
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19 Responses to Afterlife

  1. Heidi says:

    I have to believe in an afterlife of some sort.  To not believe for me would be to not have hope, and to not have hope, would make me a walking shell of a person.  I have no idea what awaits, but I pray I get an opportunity to find out. 
    -Heidi

  2. CM says:

    Good Morning Jorge,  That was excellent!!  I simply don\’t wished to be pushed through the door too quickly…… haha… Thanks for stopping by my blog, and you have a wonderful month.  hugs, mtgal

  3. redvelvet says:

    Thanks for being one of the only visitors I have left… (which is mostly my fault I know because I don\’t take time to visit much) But thanks for the comment… I tried counseling a few times, but the therapists ended up being nuttier than I am. 🙂 There is no easy solution to my situation, so I write about it and hold onto the hope that we truly do reap what we sow. Hopefully my good will outweigh the bad and karma will someday reward me in abundance. Thanks again…     

  4. dawn says:

    hiJorge:\’love the poem.to me, the concept of reincarnation
    is beautiful. whether or not it is true is not the point— it gives one
    a very relaxed attitude towards life.

  5. Holy says:

    does your wife know about all these women who hang onto your every word?
     
    Great poem – must come back and ponder if from a later angle in my after dinner life.  I like that image – "closed the eyes of the world" – if only at times.
     
    Anyways, happy weekend.  Stop by my lesser of holy blogs and you can see what Seattle snow looks like. 🙂

  6. Hope says:

    Perhaps to many still are as children and close their eye to the state of the world.
    after life.. ya.. its there. what it is.. and how it will be.. guess we all will find out in the end..
    but then that is what faith is all about..
    believing in that which we can not see or understand.. as a child blinded by sight..
    trust, faith, and belief. is that not what its all about ?
    I like what you have written.. give one room for thought.
    hope your weekend has been kind.
    ~Hope

  7. Michelle says:

    Some look toward heaven or afterlife , others just live in the moment and proclaim heaven is here on earth. I live day to day while always trying to cherish the here and now. If by chance, I died tomorrow, I don\’t want to worry that if there isn\’t an afterlife and today was my only chance to live in the moment, knowing I blew it and didn\’t make the best of my life.
     
    I hope your weekend was a good one.
     
    Hug,
    Michelle

  8. sweeti's says:

    A question that will stay a question…How will we know???its a believe in  theory.some do some dont
    There has to be something Will life end  when we close our eyes here?  Why are babies dying…without havin a life
    there has to be another life..But no one is gonna  tell us…is it?
    So we better make this life as a heaven  instead of waiting what the after life is gonne be..
    Be good and enjoy..every day here…at this big round ball we call earth
     
    To be honest  i want to believe in after life..meet every one again, in better circumstances???
    God bless u

  9. Stephen Craig says:

    Jorge,  Am glad you posted this poem.   Have a feeling that you know my thoughts about afterlife for you have been a visitor to the Painting Studio for a number of years.   I will try and keep this simple.  The Holy Spirit has ever been and ever shall be.  We are spiritual beings blessed by the Holy Spirit to experience the terrible beauty of humanity and the universe as guests and stewards of the planet Earth.   Thus touched by the Holy Spirit we are eternal as well.  For if that IS……So shall it be of the All.   I always wondered about the Catholic Church refering to the Trinity as a Mystery.  Though the vision is clear, it is indeed hard to put into words.   May your December be filled with joy!  As ever be well.  My old friend.  Smile.  Stephen Craig Rowe

  10. dawn says:

    to Jorge:i thank 😉 for you make it worththe effort of scribbling

  11. Lisa says:

    Ever teaching Jorge, gently moving us in the direction of thought. 😉  I so enjoy my visits here, and appreciate this post\’s topic.  I doubt I can bring any justice to the topic considering the volumes of thought, processes, writings and musings brought on by others, but it is a think to trifle with on a blustery Monday afternoon.

  12. Anastasia says:

    Afterlife is such a comforting thought – not just that I will maintain some awareness of myself, but that somehow, a lifetime of memories of the others I have kept alive in my heart will be preserved.  Life is the greatest learning exercise and if somehow, at the end, there was a place to collect all those experiences together, it seems that peace based on love and understanding might actually be possible.

  13. Pamela says:

    Hello Jorge,
     
    Ah, the afterlife…thank you for posting the poem and sparking some thought for the doubtful or questioning souls.
    Perhaps we are already living an "afterlife" of a previous one? Hmmmm….
    This year feels like I\’ve lived a thousand lifetimes! One thing is certain, we\’ll all find out when we get there!
    Until then, as my youngest son says "Live in the moment and just be yourself. There\’s no way you can go wrong when you do that." By the way, thank you for visiting; I know at least one inhabitant of Blogsville still knows where to find me. Plus, you always say the nicest things. You must have wings hidden under your coat! Have a great week!
     

  14. Jane says:

    The afterlife…I believe in on a cellular level 🙂 I hope December provides abundant blessings to you and yours.

  15. Theresa says:

    Loved this poem!!  I agree with Heidi and besides it is comforting to me to believe in an afterlife because that is what my faith teaches and that is what I was taught growing up. 
     
    I hope you are having a good Hump Day!  It is snowing here in Maryland…
     
    Theresa

  16. Gelert says:

    Beautiful Jorge. That\’s what poetry is for. To express such things. There\’s always light at your blog. 🙂

  17. Marie says:

    Thank you for coming over and expressing your concern about my long absence.  I am very well, thank you. I have been so busy lately that I hardly have time to do any blogging.  I will be having some time off during the Christmas holidays so I should be able to update my space, soon. 
    Hugs, Marie

  18. Joe says:

    Interesting.  I have read extensively about "near-death" experiences.  Ironically (?) that is my greatest fear of death.  To have to watch my life pass before me in an instantaneous, cosmic slide show is one of my greatest fears.  But the poem is more reflective of the womb memory…of that safe, secure, warm place where mother surrounds us.
    Have a great weekend,
    Joe

  19. Bittersweet on-the-hill. says:

    Hello Jorge,
    Thank you for another thoughtful poem.  It brings back so many images of childhood.
     
    If you can, look for the most recent New Yorker Magazine.  They had a wonderful article on the ICU and what it takes in terms of medical teams and procedural lists/check-offs to make sure someone makes through the almost impossible. The author wrote up a number of case histories where the odds were against the patient making a recovery.  The coordination, the procedural checks lists to make sure that nothing was overlooked was phenominal. What also surprised me was how many more ICU beds were required and that in some facilities, almost 20 percent of the beds were ICU.  In one particular facility, 155 beds were designated ICU out of 700. Amazing.
     
    It is cold in the northeast and every day brings with it the threat of snow. But very little of the white stuff.  The tree goes up this weekend, a freshly cut evergreen and hopefully a wonderfully pungent scent. Most of the shopping is done so now it is planning for Christmas Eve dinner.
     
    Be well my friend and Merry Christmas to you and your family.  Bittersweet

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