Thursday, August 4, 2016

All is Vanity

Vanity, vanity, under the sun.
All is vanity.
And the day we die is better than the day we are born.

We toil away our days under the sun
while the birds of the air come and go,
filling the dawn and the day and the dusk
with carefree melodies we do not hear.
We do not listen to them
under the sun.

We toil away our blazing days
until vanity swallows us into the dark night,
and then deaf ears strain against the silence.
The birds are gone.
We long to remember the songs they sung
while we forgot to listen.
But we shiver in the wild wind
that passes through us in the night.
Exhausted from the toil under the sun,
our spent frame moves no more.
The dark wind flows freely and disappears.

All is vanity.
And the day we die is better than the day we are born.

We never listened to the birds.
We never listened to their songs.
We were delighted by their colors and cheer.
We watched them soar with free firey wings,
and we loved them.
We toiled under the sun and wrought metal cages for them.
We caught them and bought them
and sold them, two-fifths penny each.
But a few got away,
found sanctuary.
And others flew over our heads,
high and bright and lost in the clear light of the burning sun.
But we never listened.

All is vanity.
All our days under the sun,
grasping for the wind.
It blows through our hand
and we do not understand.
We do not listen.

Everything has its season under the sun.
As it passes away it whispers about forever
and our hearts beat to the breath of this whispering
yet we know not where it goes.
We dance, we laugh,
we weep, we mourn,
but we do not understand the birdsong.
So we toil and hoard our pieces of time
and we are not satisfied.
We know not stillness until the day we die
when secrets open to blinding light.

The birds are gone.
One day they fell from the sky and we forgot them.
We never understood their songs.
But not one of them is forgotten before God.
Not one of them falls
without being carried by the hand that fashioned it.

~Dedicated to the memory of Christina Victoria Grimmie, songbird, March 12, 1994 - June 10, 2016.


During an interview, Christina Grimmie displays the tattoo on her right arm with the words "All is vanity" (Ecclesiastes 1:2).