Something Way Down Deep

We all know that something is eternal. 
And it ain’t houses and it ain’t names, 
and it ain’t earth, and it ain’t even the stars 
. . . everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, 
and that something has to do with human beings. 
All the greatest people ever lived have been telling us that 
for five thousand years and yet you’d be surprised 
how people are always losing hold of it. 
There’s something way down deep 
that’s eternal about every human being.
~Thornton Wilder, from “Our Town”

Write as if you were dying.
At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients.
That is, after all, the case.
~Annie Dillard from “Write Till You Drop”

I began to write regularly after September 11, 2001 because more than on any previous day, it became obvious to me I was dying, though more slowly than the thousands who vanished that day in fire and ash, their voices obliterated with their bodies into eternity.  

Nearly each day since, while I still have voice and a new dawn to greet, I speak through my fingers to others dying with and around me.

We are, after all, terminal patients — some of us more prepared than others to move on — as if our readiness had anything to do with the timing.

Each day I get a little closer to the eternal, but I write in order to feel a little more ready.  Each day I want to detach just a little bit, leaving a trace of my voice behind.  Eventually, through unmerited grace, so much of me will be left on the page there won’t be anything or anyone left to do the typing.

There is no time or word to waste.

10 thoughts on “Something Way Down Deep

  1. Here’s what George Herbert wrote about something way down deep.

    Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back
    Guilty of dust and sin.
    But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
    From my first entrance in,
    Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
    If I lacked any thing.

    A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:
    Love said, You shall be he.
    I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear,
    I cannot look on thee.
    Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
    Who made the eyes but I?

    Truth Lord, but I have marred them: let my shame
    Go where it doth deserve.
    And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?
    My dear, then I will serve.
    You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
    So I did sit and eat.

    Your writing, Emily, helps me find my way into Herbert’s belief. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. More often than not, your words are special and seem written for me. Today was another of those days. I am often reminded that life is short, sometimes too short. Many seem gone too soon. We are all destined to make that journey. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thank you, John, for letting me know I hit home some days. We’ve lost two college students at my university in less than a week so the eternal is on my mind… blessings, Emily


  4. I am thankful you started writing.
    Not sure how or when I found your writings, but very thankful I found you.
    Indeed, you have helped me start many new mornings on a more positive note.
    You have been a huge blessing to my life.
    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for the “timely” post. I’ve recently subscribed to you and enjoy waking up and reading your your latest entry before I start my day. As I enter my six decade of living I really think about my time and my day to day life. How much I am I squandering on the inconsequential? Kind regards

    Liked by 1 person

  6. thank you, wildflower! now that I’m mid-seventh decade, I do sense the urgency of putting aside the squandering! blessings on your day and deeply appreciate you writing to me~



  7. I think you are far more perceptive, Alice, but I know I’m a slow learner when it comes to realizing life as I live it, every every minute (thanks to Thornton Wilder again!) blessings to you! Emily


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