Saturday we sat on the Doorsill with Jane. Apparently, she had summoned each of us up through the silence, to keep the vigil for her. We circled around her, knowing she would cross over that doorsill soon, alone, turning into the mystery. We knew that we would be staying behind for a while, on this side of the threshold, grappling with the usual conundrums of living. Digitized numbers became the runes we read as we sought to know the exact time that Door would open before us. Vigilant, we watched for signs of the door opening while Jane, the fierce Olympian, carried the torch unwaveringly toward it, her breathing heavy with its weight.
After a while, mist spiraled like smoke out of Jane’s face and formed a cone made of the substance of luminosity, round and open above her head. We watched together and alone at the doorsill of death. As we watched, Jane’s face changed. Now, she had taken on the ancient profile of a Roman senator, cheek- bones high, patrician nose jutting with precision into the air where the mist had curled moments earlier. Her face was changing form. She was wearing the features of death. Cissy came in, dressed in brown and black. She needed no digital runes. She knew the language of pulse. With measured tones we were told what the body’s pulse had whispered privately to her. “Jane is no longer associated with this body.”
We watched together and alone at the doorsill of death. As we watched, Jane’s face changed. Now, she had taken on the ancient profile of a Roman senator, cheek- bones high, patrician nose jutting with precision
No one was surprised to see the brown and black butterfly peering into the window of the heart tower, three stories up, on an April afternoon, shimmering behind Cissy’s form. The butterfly flew away. Cissy left. We returned to our vigil. We continued to consult the light of the digitized runes. We worked to extract Eternal Wisdom from mechanical light. But now, the room was full of fresh energy. The Enormous had arrived. Is it that Jane herself, had diffused in order to cross the doorsill? I know this has to be what camels must do before passing through the eye of a needle. Did the Enormous arrive to escort Jane across that doorsill into the luminosity?
Yesterday, Jane’s body lay in state at Ruth’s house. No more Roman Senator. Jane looked like a Buddha. Intensity of focus suggested she was learning to walk or fly or swim the channels of light, while the vigil of the living continued around her. Serenity was sprawled all over Ruth’s home like a blessing. I saw that Serenity, Herself, had Sandra wrapped in her arms. The strawberries by the path lounged in the afternoon sun, speaking together of ripeness. Ruth’s roses, orange magnificence, glowed on the window- sill as beacons, guiding Jane’s transition.
Caroline came in from the porch. I was unprepared to see the clarity, the compassion, that unwavering depth in her eyes. Inside me someone said, “My body will likely lie there under that lace one day, while the garden continues to ripen and then decay, while the beloved companions keep the vigil, breathing and speaking of love, and simultaneously considering the conundrums of living. The luminosity will again, have gathered substance. Serenity will again provide a wrap for the living to wear as they say farewell to a body, to that diffusing Enormity crossing the doorsill.” After a while, they will pass through Ruth’s doorsill and walk back by the strawberries as they return to the world of living form.