I spent the second week of the new year flying to Kansas and waiting with my family for my grandfather to succumb to colon and intestinal cancer. Not the best home visit ever. No one knew what to do, because there was nothing that we could do. His passing reminds me of my favorite poem by Rumi:
“All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,
And I intend to end up there.
This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place,
I’ll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I’m like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
But who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?
Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer,
I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way.
Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.
This poetry. I never know what I’m going to say.
I don’t plan it.
When I’m outside the saying of it, I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.”
~ Rumi, trans. Coleman Barks
I know we all feel like his home was here with us, but I hope Grandpa’s final home and has fishing, Yellowstone National Park, and KU basketball. I’ll miss you, Grandpa.