Friday, December 9, 2011


Last week I went to a funeral for a colleague; she had been battling cancer for years, and it had finally come back and taken her.

As I was sitting in the back of the church listening to the words spoken by ministers and friends, and thinking about what a dear person she was, and what a dedicated teacher she was, my chest hurt. I was feeling physical pain at the thought of her not being in the world anymore, and how much she'd be missed.

And seeing all the people there, and knowing there were hundreds and hundreds of students whose lives she touched, I thought about the web we make when we live in community. I thought about how, even as we go about our personal, daily lives at work or with our families, seemingly tending to our own needs, we create threads of connection with others, and join our lives to theirs. We make a big giant web of interrelated beings. And so that's why it hurts when one person is taken out of that web.

And yet I wouldn't have it any other way. I would much rather be part of that web, vulnerable to pain when it is torn, than be truly alone. That web is beautiful and real and alive, and I'm glad to be part of it and to be making new strands in it every day.

Mitakuye oyasin! May you build the web today.