Your heartbeat is so different from his, " I whisper it; he has to ask me to repeat myself. I explain, "My father... his heartbeat was so fast. I could feel it, racing... it was like his heartbeat shook my whole body. Your heart... it's steady. It feels safe. It's calming me down." And so we stand, and I cry, and listen to his heart until I am calm again, and then we get back to cleaning.
He could do the dextral pain the same way: Abiding. Here was a second right here: he endured it. What was undealable-with was the thought of all the instants all lined up and stretching ahead, glittering. And the projected future fear... It's too much to think about. To Abide there. But none of it's as of now real... He could just hunker down in the space between each heartbeat and make each heartbeat a wall and live in there. Not let his head look over. What's unendurable is what his own head could make of it all... But he could choose not to listen.
David Foster Wallace
There would be no chance at all of getting to know death if it happened only once. But fortunately, life is nothing but a continuing dance of birth and death, a dance of change. Every time I hear the rush of a mountain stream, or the waves crashing on the shore, or my own heartbeat, I hear the sound of impermanence. These changes, these small deaths, are our living links with death. They are death's pulses, death's heartbeat, prompting us to let go of all the things we cling to.
How was it that, even in the common tasks of an ordinary life, Jesus drew the praise of heaven? At the core of His being, He only did those things which pleased the Father. In everything, He stayed true, heartbeat to heartbeat, with the Father's desires. Jesus lived for God alone; God was enough for Him. Thus, even in its simplicity and moment-to-moment faithfulness, Christ's life was an unending fragrance, a perfect offering of incomparable love to God.
After a time, he felt a deeper rhythm, the rhythm of the stone and water, not the rhythm of his words and heartbeat. He breathed into this deeper rhythm, let it teach him a new mantra, a wordless mantra that waxed and waned, ebbed and flowed, moon and stars and clouds, river and sun, the wordless singing of the earth beneath it all like the world's own heartbeat. He laid his palms flat on the stone beneath him and listened in quiet rapture to the mantra of the world's praying.
Your lingering presence erodes me. Heartbeat by heartbeat. Cell by aging cell. Washing away any sense of self I ever had. Intruding into a nothingness I've struggled to find the pieces to fill. A jar filled with stones, piled with pebbles, topped with sand, only to be left with the knowledge that water, with enough time and persistence, has the power to wash it all away. Your name is on my lips. Frozen. A familiar cadence of syllables that once soothed me. A name I can't speak. Can't think of. Not on this shore, at our lake. Not on this day. When only a year ago, with a foreshadowing that is now ice in my veins, you stood next to me, in this jacket, your hand in mine, so warm, and stared out at this expanse and whispered in awe, "This is what a cold lake looks like.