Letter to Terry


My love to you in your darkness, in your light. When I heard your story my initial response was not the greatest–let her die for God’s sakes….why do we spend so much time on this stuff and not on the 40,000 who die every day of hunger.

Your husband may be doing you wrong. Your parents probably wouldn’t want to hear it, but likely they want to keep you alive as much (if not more so) for themselves than for you. Most of the people outside protesting are comfortable in their smug righteousness, barely different than those so-called liberal-types who responded like I did. In their cynical, irony.

God weaves a really strange tapestry. People come together, I realize, by hating each other, by killing each other. At least then each has to grant marginal status to the other. At least acknowledge, however weakly, the existence of The Other.

The conservatives are right–we do live in a culture of death. It is also a culture of life. Why don’t they acknowledge that? Why don’t they acknowledge the other forces of death that they blithely ignore–absitenence only programs to “combat” AIDS, the abymsal state of education in this country, the destructive influence of the media?

Why do the liberals have no heart left? Why can’t they see that the conservatives are right about (if nothing else) the need to re-examine our beliefs around euthanasia, abortion–even though their policy and ethical recommendations are so often profoundly limited and myopic.

Why is it you are the only one whose: eyes are open? whose heart invites us all into dialogue and wisdom? who gets it?

You lie on your bed of crucifixion–re-enacting Good Friday for us all. 2000 years ago we didn’t get it? Neither today do we still? Why don’t people see that it’s not about them. Why don’t they see that for all their talk of caring about you, they are really talking about themselves? Why don’t they realize, paradoxically, that it is really all about them, about us? Why don’t we realize that your eyes staring out at us is a question thrown to our hearts? And the proper answer is not self-righteous picketing, effete cynicism.

You have no answers to my questions–or the only answer to be given…your eyes and heart open. AND your silence. Your silence that is the end of all this chatter, all this endless debate to the zero-point, the MahaBindu, Black Hole of The Cloud of Shunya. The place where we are all together, always-already, where we are already full of joy and love…as are you.

That is what you show us above all else–with everything else taken from you, stripped, naked in our existence, you show that the final answer is always-already The Resurrection. The Glory of Mount Tabor, the deification of our souls. That there is no fear to be had in this.

God’s humor in a manner of speaking then is sick. You’re sick, we’re all sick. The sickness is the locus of the antidote….like a Serpent of Bronze held aloft to cure us of a snakely bite. Like a man abandoned by God hoisted high to cure our sin. Or better to show us that all is always-already forgiven.

I see that in your eyes. The choice in the end isn’t as important as the awareness of that truth.

You are love, you are dying so that we might live. What is the question of a feeding tube, of this paltry veils we where, compared to that obliterating re-cognition.

When you pass to the light, whether now or much later, remember us–I know you already do.

Published in: on March 25, 2005 at 11:59 am  Leave a Comment  

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