And every night this week I've woken in the middle of the night--once or several times--with my heart racing and an undeniable sense that I am dying.
In spite of all this nighttime guidance from the Self, God, Goddess, subconscious and Great Unknown, I couldn't set pen to paper for a week.
Instead, for seven days, I've worked diligently at the office to find volunteer tutors for local kids. At home I've stilled my quiet inner voice by watching movies on Netflix and hand-quilting black stitches on an orange border--the final part of a large quilt I am making for my son.
And then came this morning. Last night I again woke at 3 a.m., heart beating in quick staccato notes, sure my death is near. But I returned to sleep and this morning I woke with sun in my window, no longer afraid to be dying.
That little voice in my mind, the one that gently urged me when I was 20-something to take my feet out of the stirrups before I sailed off the back of a galloping, out-of control horse, that little voice also helped me to understand this morning that I've already died several times within the space of five decades. And I've been born, or at least transformed, as many times, too.
We're each dying every minute we're here, just as we're reborn just as often. Kristin Linklater, a powerful teacher I once had the joy to study with, said that we die on each outgoing breath, but are reborn when we let the next breath in. She also said that some of the things she taught us might not really register until we'd lived a while. Well, this morning I felt in my body how true her words are.