A chance listening to a mountain dulcimer and a string orchestra performing Connie Elisor’s Blackberry Winter (1997) quickened my imagination: Succulent blackberries and frigid winds erupted into a honied ache, a puckering of the lips, a twinge of sweetness. What was the composer up to?

In my perception, he used the literary device called juxtaposition in which two dissimilar images are purposely placed together, their resonances morphing into a larger reality. Thus the desired surprise gladdens the listeners/readers.

It might be stretching the meaning of juxtaposition to apply it to the human being, seeded at birth with life and death, but here goes. Only the wise see mortality in a newborn infant, but it is there. Only the wise sense our living both in kairos time and chronos time. Only the wise intuit the interplay of spirit and matter as we develop through the decades allotted us.

Most of my life I adhered to practices that inched my evolving into the crone I have become. In the process, my arthritic body was often in the way. Today, terminal illness commands my full attention. Thus, the rub—at times, annoying, terrifying, awkward; at others, gentle, compassionate, understanding. Only within thus rubbing will the new entity, Elizabeth, be fashioned for the experience of eternal life. Having glimpsed this realm, I can’t wait—but I must.

…in the twinkling of an eye, we shall all be changed. I Cor 15:52