Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fair Winds

As she explained in Whirlwind Named Iris, this is a difficult time of year for my sister.
Iris and I were strolling the docks of the Corsican port town of Bastia the night before we caught the ferry to Livorno, Italy. I pointed out all the wooden boats and told her how her uncle Martin used to build and restore wooden boats; he taught those skills to others at the Center for Wooden Boats.

She suddenly said, "People don't ever completely die, as long as we remember them."

Then she continued to explain that, she didn't believe in reincarnation. If you look at the number of people who die, there aren't enough people living for that to work. But we can remember people and tell stories about them.

Fair Winds, Martin, from all of us. We miss you.

At the time, I thought her preoccupation with metaphysical subjects at age four was due to the amount of death and near death she had experienced in such a short time span. Maybe not.

My sister had explained the Buddhist service and the concept of reincarnation to Iris during my stepmother's funeral, less than a year before Martin's. That was the painful period where I lost two family members and two coworkers, and even spent three weeks with a P.I.C.C. (peripherally inserted central catheter) while they pumped one the drugs of last resort into me.

1 comment:

  1. Why aren't there enough people alive? Since for the most part, more people are born than die, it seems the problem might be the opposite: more people arrive on Earth every year than can be accounted for by reincarnation of people who died.

    Of course there may be isolated time periods (e.g. plagues) when more people die than are born.


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