May I never not be frisky,
May I never not be risqué.
May my ashes, when you have them, friend,
and give them to the ocean,
leap in the froth of the waves,
still loving movement,
still ready, beyond all else,
to dance for the world.
– Mary Oliver, Prayer
It’s been almost a year now, and I think of you when I come across a poem like this. You were a dancer, covering a dance floor with the same elegance and ease that you’d use in a tricky conversation. And sure, you were equally at ease leaping in the froth of the waves not all that long ago. Measuring up to that standard hasn’t been easy, friend, especially in this pandemic and the lingering bitterness of political strife. You’d navigate that more easily too.
There were times over the last year when I could have used your perspective on things, but then again, I can hear exactly what you’d tell me in those imagined conversations. So we press on, doing what must be done, leaving that stuff to sort out another day. And honor your memory with action, humor and a healthy dose of friskiness.
When I pass, sprinkle my ashes in the ocean on an outgoing tide. Life is movement and a dance through our days. I don’t want to rest in peace when it all ends, but to skip across the waves to the ends of the earth. And there, maybe, we’ll meet again.