Beautiful Life, Dazzling Death


I couldn’t count myself among Lou Reed‘s fans. Though I’ve never listened to his music his wife Laurie’s farewell is worth reading and reflecting upon.

What a beautiful fall! Everything shimmering and golden and all that incredible soft light. Water surrounding us.

Leaves-in-waterA reminder of how common the changing, passing of life is, as familiar as summer transitioning to fall. The leaves turn, decorating the earth, the water laps on the shore and the sunlight reflects even in our tears. Seasons do not stop, time doesn’t stand still when death occurs, it is a part of nature, existence, as sure as fall will soon give way to winter.

Lou and I have spent a lot of time here in the past few years, and even though we’re city people this is our spiritual home.”

Nature has a way of drawing us to it. Even in the hustle and bustle of a world with cellphones, Google glass, smart watches, when technology seems to be attaching itself to us like skin there is a deepness that beckons. A wisdom found in trees older than our nation, rocks more ancient than our species.

Last week I promised Lou to get him out of the hospital and come home to Springs. And we made it!

Those who have faced the loss of loved ones know the painful decision of leaving the hospital, not because of life restored, but to let it go. As a culture we have forgotten what it means to age and die well.


A time comes when we must cross the boundary of death and walk on the other side. To do so with dignity, to not be so frightened, grasping at every remedy, treatment, half-hearted physician’s promise, but recognizing the moment and embracing it with a sojourner’s spirit.

Lou was a tai chi master and spent his last days here being happy and dazzled by the beauty and power and softness of nature. He died on Sunday morning looking at the trees and doing the famous 21 form of tai chi with just his musician hands moving through the air.

To spend our last days, for each one is closer to our last, “being happy and dazzled by the beauty and power and softness of nature” is all we can ask from this existence. Being mindful, wise enough to be in awe of the world which surrounds us.

Too often the majesty of this life escapes us, the wonderment found in every breath. Aliveness has lost its magic. So much time is spent trying to control, understand, coerce, manipulate, we miss the miracle of simply being alive. We miss being happy and dazzled because we are busy doing other things.

Lou was a prince and a fighter and I know his songs of the pain and beauty in the world will fill many people with the incredible joy he felt for life. Long live the beauty that comes down and through and onto all of us.

Long live the beauty that comes down and through and onto all of us.” A life well lived is a life that inspires others to truly live. May we be a people who drink so deeply from life’s well that it spills into the lives of others.




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About is a place for sojourners walking this spiritual path called life. - Essentialist, contemplative, author, advocate, old soul

Posted on November 4, 2013, in Mindfulness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. What a beautiful tribute – both his wife’s and yours.


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