Yes, Rob. Thank you so much for posting that particular blog entry from Roger Ebert. What a stunning and breathtaking elegy to not only himself, but also to the sacredness of our beautifully tragic mortal lifecycles here on this temporal earth. I love, in particular, his reference to Whitman:
"In my plans for life after death, I say, again with Whitman:
I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles."
I am reminded of so many others who have and continue to express in prose and in poetry the sacredness of that grounding foot ("soul") -- Earth connection--Thic Nhat Hahn's Peace is Every Step comes to mind. Also--as I was recently listening to Shirley's interview with him--Stephen Altschuler's The Mindful Hiker comes to mind. What luck we have to get to experience these lives and these bodies!
This Whitman quotation also reminds me so much of someone very special in my own life who died suddenly, tragically, without warning a few years ago at the young age of 38. She loved the mountains--the Smokies--and loved hiking them. She is there now in spirit and in ash. When we return there, we look for (and find) her in the trees, the waters, the "smoke," and . . . indeed . . . under our hiking"boot-soles." Even though she died at a young age, suddenly and without warning, she had arrangements for her passing scripted for us all, which included many readings--one of which was Pablo Neruda's "Love for this Book," a line of which reminds me of Ebert's citation to Whitman:
"So then, if living was nothing more than anticipating the earth, this soil and its harshness, deliver me, my love, from not doing my duty, and help me return to my place beneath the hungry earth."
Anyway . . . I am sorry for digressing away from celebrating the latest incarnation of Roger Ebert on this earth. What a beautiful soul. If any of you are ever in Chicago--my stompin' grounds--stop by the Gene Siskel Film Center on State Street. They show great films there that you will not find elsewhere, you'll be in terrific company, and it is simply an amazing tribute to films, Gene Siskel, Roger Ebert, and everything they taught us to appreciate and love in this life.
two hands together
"I wasn't going to spend my life doing what had already been done." - Georgia O'Keeffe
"What will be wants
to push through your fingers.
The light you seek hides
in your belly."
- "The Head of the Year," Marge Piercy