“Dancing with the Dead: Two Techniques for Spiritual Rejuvenation”

Humanist poet, speaker, organizer and ritualist Daniel Lev Shkolnik writes for Patheos on a self-devised memento mori/carpe diem rite:

When I pass into a cemetery alone, a calm settles over me. I watch the hawks hunt from the pines. The hares dash through among the stones and the bones of slower hares. The puffball mushrooms release their spores in coiling black wisps. The silence of hundreds of gravestones shush all my inner anxieties. Whatever attaches me to the trivialities of my daily existence—my work, my personal troubles, my deadlines—fall out of focus, and a clear line of sight opens up to the inevitable end of things. The final deadline comes into sight, and the panorama of my entire life unrolls in both directions. And as I survey the whole picture, I usually find the most important moment in my entire life is the present one.

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