Monday, August 22, 2011

I've Died a Hundred Times

Back in June before Juli and Ashlyn went back to the States for a three week visit, the Smith family took a trip out west to county Mayo.  I wrote about the trip in an entry called Climbing Croagh Patrick.  What I didn't mention was that while driving out to Castlebar I had one of those surreal moments where I was reminded that on such narrow, wet, and winding roads it wouldn't take much of a mistake to end up in a field or bog or ditch.  I then remembered that countless times I've had such accidents in my dreams (not daydreams, mind you).  A phrase was lodged into my head..."In my dreams, I've died a hundred times."  I made a mental note as we drove along that it might be a good opening line for a poem.

Five days before Juli and Ashlyn arrived back to Dublin while I was at Camp Shamrock I took that first line and went ahead and wrote the poem.  I knew where it would begin, but I wasn't quite sure where it would end.  This is where it went.

In my dreams I've died a hundred times,
And each time I awake to find that I'm alive.
But one day I'll awake to discover,
That the death I died was real and life is over.
Will it be in some horrific car crash?
Or like Pompeii, will life freeze in volcanic ash?
Maybe I'll be taken by a terminal disease.
Or at the age of 99, I'll just drift away in ease.
Whether young or old, rich or poor, my life will have its ending.
But as I'm laid into the cold dark earth, is it the end or the beginning?

This question isn't the most pleasant to consider, but it's certainly worth considering.  I pray that we're living in such a way here in Dublin that those we're around feel the hope we have of resurrection life and desire to live it for themselves. - Shay