Blue butterflies-cropped

Just what is it that holds
the body and spirit together,
undivided, cohesive, alive–
and how do they come unglued?

Is it the spirit that clings to the body,
holding tight its tangible twin?
Or does the body release with reluctance
its most-familiar friend?

Is it like popping the top off a bottle
or pulling Velcro apart with a rasp?
Is it a wrenching and tearing,
a sudden ripping of fabric?

Or does the spirit silently steal away,
catching the watchers unaware,
unzipping itself and slipping out
like a barely audible breath?

Is death a gradual release of energy,
a powering down cell by cell?
Or is it tossing aside a jacket
and walking a well-known path?


About Judy Grigg Hansen
I write poetry and nonfiction, and I am passionate about the people, places, and wildflowers of Idaho and the Northwest.

5 Responses to Uncoupling

  1. Will Grigg says:

    This was a poignant reflection on the most imponderable mystery of life. The Apostle Paul, who apparently was a tent-maker by trade, referred to the mortal body as a “tent” — a temporary and not particularly stable dwelling for our true selves. It’s fascinating to me that the last utterance of Robert E. Lee — who was very well-acquainted with the Bible — was: “Strike the tent.”

    As you know, Judy, I’ve recently been wondering about the interface between our biological and essential selves — specifically, what connects the physical apparatus called the brain to the numinous entity that we can call “soul” or “spirit” or “personality”? We’re not merely matter in motion; there is something in each of us is transcends the physical, that inhabits the tent or is bonded to its “tangible twin.” What a horrible thing it is when there is a malfunction in the transmission mechanism that make it possible for each of us to perceive the world around us, and communicate with those we love. It seems to me that this prospect is easily, and monumentally, more terrifying than the inevitability of physical death.

  2. Tamara says:

    Love this Judy. Something I’ve never thought about before…

  3. Elia Bintang says:

    Your questions on death are very interesting. Using your words, I think death is a gradual release of energy. 🙂

  4. ann babbel says:

    You ask the best questions in a beautiful way.

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