I am Alive…

I am a feather on the bright sky

I am the blue horse that runs in the plain

I am the fish that rolls, shining, in the water

I am the shadow that follows a child

I am the evening light, the lustre of meadows

I am an eagle playing with the wind

I am a cluster of bright beads

I am the farthest star

I am the cold of dawn

I am the roaring of the rain

I am the glitter on the crust of the snow

I am the long track of the moon in a lake

I am a flame of four colors

I am a deer standing away in the dusk

I am a field of sumac and the pomme blanche

I am an angle of geese in the winter sky

I am the hunger of a young wolf

I am the whole dream of these things
You see, I am alive, I am alive
~N. Scott Momaday from “The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee” from In the Presence of the Sun: Stories and Poems

I wonder if, in the dark night of the sea, the octopus dreams of me.
~N. Scott Momaday

If I am brutally honest with myself, one of my worst fears is to have lived on this earth for a few decades and then pass away forgotten, inconsequential, having left behind no legacy of significance whatsoever.  I know it is self-absorbed to feel the need to leave a mark, but my search for purpose and meaning lasting beyond my time here provides new momentum for each day.

The forgetting can happen so fast.  Most people know little about their great great grandparents, if they even know their names.  A mere four generations, a century, renders us dust, not just in flesh, but in memory as well.   There may be a yellowed photograph in a box somewhere, perhaps a tattered postcard or letter written in elegant script, but the essence of who this person was is long lost and forgotten. We owe it to our descendants to write down the stories about who we were while we lived on this earth. We need to share why we lived, for whom we lived, for what we lived.

I suspect however, unless I try every day to record some part of who I am, it will be no different with me and those who come after me.  Whether or not we are remembered by great great grandchildren or become part of the dreams of creatures in the depths of the seas:

we are just dust here and there is no changing that.

Good thing this is not our only home.  
Good thing we are more than mere memory and dreams. 
Good thing there is eternity that transcends good works
or long memories or legacies left behind. 
Good thing we are loved that much and always will be,
Forever and ever, Amen.

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5 thoughts on “I am Alive…

  1. O Emily….

    This is so moving and so eloquently speaks not only to the heart and soul, but is a clarion call to “document and write and share” our lives so that generations to come will remember us. Not in a grandiose way, but as I remember my mother and father telling us stories around the fireplace in the evening of their parents and ancestors and to know we are but part of a whole and in a long line souls gone past and yet to come. I will be sharing this post with the folks at Hospice House in Bellingham as I think it will help them to ask for more stories and to remind families of just how important stories and memories are. Rest assured that they will see this from this site so they know you and your writings.
    Many thanks to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh Emily! If only you could know how much of a mark you’ve left already. Your photos, your poems, your posts have been blessing my soul for a very long time now. And I delight to share them with the community of missionaries that I serve. Self-centered? I don’t think so. Human? Very much so – and that’s exactly what makes your work so endearing.

    Liked by 2 people

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