A personal reflection spurred by the deaths by suicide of Katherine Noel Brosnahan, aka Kate Spade (December 24, 1962-June 5, 2018) and Anthony Michael Bourdain (June 25, 1956-June 8, 2018).
Fleet the footfalls beat
(no Hound of Heaven this)
loud they come
my sloth-filled feet
(I cannot escape!)
o’er me as darkness drear
of ghoulish, most frightening
I cannot see
save a shattered me –
in fear –
my body, laden with incumbering, irremediable fatigue;
sleep, a faint memory;
one sole emotion, condition, mine incandescent irritability;
my soul roiled in anxious waters that only rise and feign to recede;
my long-valued-and-trusted power to reason beyond my reach,
each thought, earnestly sought, but a vapor of nothingness
save for my imagining, my longing for mine own nothingness.
I know this state
of my un-ness
e’en more, I know its fate
were I to succumb,
nay, its fate is my succumbing.
But I cannot, will not, I must not;
for the…my hope of wholeness –
by faith, I trust, conferred at the dawn of creation
and by faith, too, I trust, promised as the gift of redemption –
is the brightest
Endnote: Hound of Heaven is a reference to the same-titled poem of Francis Thompson (1859-1907) who compared the relentlessly loving pursuing God as a hound in quest of the prey, not to kill, but to save, of fleeing humanity.