of yourself as though you were dead, I say to myself, and you will not feel
the coming of death. Blunt the barb of death during life, and when it comes it
will not have the means to sting.
of yourself every morning as a newborn miracle, and you will not feel old age.
not wait for death to come, because death has indeed already come and has not
left you. Its teeth are continually in your flesh.
Whatever was living before your birth and whatever will survive your
death--that even now is alive within you.
night an angel unwound the tape of time, the end of which I was unable to
perceive, and he showed me two dots on the tape, one next to the other.
"The distance between these two dots," he said, "is the span of
means my lifetime is already over," I shouted, "and I must be prepared
for the journey. I must be like a diligent hostess, who spends the present day
cleaning house and making preparations for tomorrow's slava1
the present day of all the sons of men is for the most part filled with concern
for the next day. Yet few of those, who believe in Your promise, concern
themselves with what will happen the day after death. May my death, O Lord, be
my last sigh not for this world, but for that blessed and eternal Tomorrow.
the burned out candles of my friends, my candle, too, is burning down. "Do
not be foolish," I reprimand myself, "and do not regret that your
candle is burning out. Do you really love your friends so little, that you are
afraid to set out
soul has become accustomed to leaving my body every day and every night, and to
stretch herself out to the limits of the universe. When she has sprouted in this
way, my soul feels as though suns and moons are swimming over her even as the
swans swim over my lake. She shines through suns and supports life on earthly
planets. She supports mountains and seas; she controls thunder and winds. She
completely fills Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.2 And she returns to
shelter in a cramped and dilapidated habitation on one of those earthly
planets. She returns to the body that she still, for another minute or two,
calls her own, and which sways like her shadow among mounds of graves, among
lairs of beasts, among howls of false hopes.
do not complain about death, O Living God, it does not seem to me to be anything
sad. It is a terror that man has created for himself. More strongly than
anything on earth, death is pushing me to meet You.
had a walnut tree in front of my house, and death took it from me. I was angry
at death and cursed it saying: "Why did it not take me, an insatiable
animal, instead of something sinless?"
now I think of myself as though I were dead, and near my walnut tree.
my Immortal God, look mercifully upon a candle that is burning out, and purify
its flame. For only a pure flame rises toward Your face, and enters Your eye,
with which you watch the whole world.
1. slava - - (Serbian word meaning "glory") in Serbian Orthodox religious tradition, the rites performed with special bread (kolach) and wine in order to glorify one's patron saint on his feast day, usually accompained by a sumptuous meal and large number of guests in one's home.
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Heb.