On Living and Dying

Go forth gentle into that coming night;
for a new world to come, the old must give way.
Know this: there is no dying of the light.

Though we may grasp at things still within sight,
because the wise make peace with this world, they
go forth gentle into that coming night.

Good deeds, their sparkle faded, seem not bright
as the lamplight from our wick fades away.
Know this: there is no dying of the light.

Release your wild and worried fears in flight;
the doubt that lingers, let it fade today.
Go forth gentle into that coming night.

Each of us sees in death distress and fright,
imagining this chapter’s end is gray.
Know this: there is no dying of the light.

So now, my friends, perched there on that sad height,
no curses give; do not this life betray.
Go forth gentle into that coming night;
know this: there is no dying of the light.

for Sogyal Rinpoche and Dylan Thomas

22 JUL 2003

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