Here alone am I the most vital thing if you don’t count the birds a hummingbird’s wings beat every .02 seconds that live in the canopy of trees above the headstones. I sit on a bench near the cemetery’s edge to meditate but my mind wanders neurons mediate thought in the span of a hummingbird’s wingbeat  and my heart shatters emotions fire .012 seconds after being triggered and I look at the graves not the old but the newly seeded and say,  Rise.  Let me see you:  the waxy leather that once was skin, the embalming fluid where once blood circulated. Your punctured, breathless lungs. Your bones. When I was a little girl was I a little girl? I became afraid of skeletons after watching a horror movie and then learned there was one inside me. Maybe that was the beginning of being scared of what lies within but I counted on the distance between us muscle, fat, sinew, flesh to keep me safe. Still it’s only a matter of time beneath the dust and love and sweat that hangs on everybody there’s a dead man trying to get out (Counting Crows) and the safe space shrinks as I grow older; the organic buffer between skin and bone recedes. The skeleton I once feared is weaker women lose more than half their peak bone mass by the time they are 80  but not a bone has broken, not one in more than a half-century was I a little girl? and now I love my bones but am ambivalent about my flesh. Still I am the most vital thing here if you don’t count the birds and I say to the former people beneath the ground, not those who died intact but the ones who went to their graves fractured,  Rise. See me with your shuttered eyes:  skin pliable,  blood pulsing, breath full in my lungs.   Take my hand in me your past in you my future bone to bone this we share and remind me of the moment when the quick become the dead, when I become you. Teach me to break. I am weary of being whole.



  1. NoAZLady · · Reply

    Moody, peaceful. I found myself beside you on your bench, that’s how well you write. Thanks, Cate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An exceedingly sweet compliment. Thank you.


  2. Lovely. I like the way you break thought with more thought, it’s the first thing that caught my eye. Keep writing 🙂


    1. Thank you! I will.


  3. Please don’t post this comment. The comment: Are you okay?


    1. Oh, yeah. The darkness is as much a part of my experience as the light, and perhaps even more important to share for those of us who periodically sojourn there. Thanks, though, for your concern.


  4. slukwago · · Reply

    There is freedom in being broken
    Being aware of it and welcoming it is wise Rafiki

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. Thanks, my friend.


  5. Sublime. We are all human, all connected, no matter if we are living or dead. We all share this world.


    1. Thanks for reading and sharing your response. I appreciate it!


  6. something powerfully soothing
    when contemplating our
    own impermanence 🙂


    1. Thanks, David.


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