Hard to figure a year has passed from the date on her Death Certificate, but when was time ever easy to figure? At the rate lives & stages of life pass, the rest is the blink of an eye…. As Virginia put it on a scrap found recently in a pile–
I don’t understand death–
from where I am, it just doesn’t fit.
The body’s set up for it, so they say–
cycling, renewing, reforming,
giving others something to eat.
But now I’m such a klutz! I step on
everything! I chew & swallow for pleasure,
I breathe & release toxins. Can you tell me
one thing I do that only causes life, or good?
Eye to eye, matching seed to seed
the life giving/ the death dealing–
how can it be that the mind just disappears??
the scales hover/ in absolute equality:
that’s what we’ve got–nothing!
(but I don’t quite buy it)
[Roughly scribbled on a piece torn from some notepad, this seems uncharacteristic of Virginia’s poetry, classic snaps or explorative adventures, even with her tendency to surprise. More like notes she never came back to, her observations here suggest kinds of speculation she rarely articulated.
Despite different family backgrounds, I don’t recall ever holding different “beliefs.” Such things, at the heart, aren’t a matter of doctrine or dogma so much as of belonging & feeling, the actual (inner, personal) experience of oneness/ connection/ love–whether of persons for each other or for devotional dimensions, places, principles of relation, objects & representations.
Virginia’s capacity for empathy, for feeling the feelings of others, came with an ability to distinguish qualities more or less directly, not from ideas but from an amalgam of observation, vibration & evaluation, often less a matter of particular religion or belief system than of the individuals practicing.
She didn’t theorize, but practiced various devotions–“study” of life; music & dance; yoga, poetry, gardening, painting; teaching & friendship…. As a friend, she could resonate in harmony without having to analyze doctrines, e.g., as an engaged visitor in someone’s church or other sacred space, observing inwardly. The qualities of worship aren’t necessarily vested in the rites as much as in the experience evoked, entering with an open mind & spirit.
However willing to share, she didn’t generally talk about her experience. Though she wore a family cross in some wedding pictures, she didn’t consider herself a member of any one religion, but a friend of many, including the physical sciences. She was far too attuned to life (as lived & observed) to believe the sciences were all that mattered, or that they’d resolved the mysteries that mattered….
Of the spiritual teachers & traditions she respected, she likely felt closest to Basho & Tagore, purely from the writings, & Sri Aurobindo & Mother, from her time at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India, where a 3-day visit turned into a 7-month immersion. Part of a larger east-west synthesis, each struck chords of trustworthiness, beneficence, insight, & wisdom, including principles in harmony with her own, as exemplified in the Mother’s devotion to “free progress” education–as in material (to be added shortly) on the bio page.]