The Quickest Way To Die Is To Be Born

I am made of dust
And I am made of stars
I am made of peace
And I am made of wars

I am Divinity
Beyond what minds can comprehend
I am small and scared
Feeling I have to defend

I am the dance of duality
Tripping over myself
Figuring out me
And then realizing there’s no such thing

It all feels so pointless
Because it is

Because it is

We make it up
Make believe
As if we make enough noise
We buy our reprieve

The quickest way to die
Is to be born
The surest way to die
Is to be born

So what am I afraid of
That I am not worthy of love
It scares me worse than death
Death does not scare me

The quickest way to die
Is to be born
The surest way to die
Is to be born

It all feels so pointless
Because it is

Because it is

The quickest way to die is to be born

julia butterfly hill August 2010

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Published in: on August 4, 2010 at 7:46 am  Comments (22)  

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  1. Look at me
    In waters so deep
    Much too far from shore
    To see the lights of reason anymore
    And I’m sinking slowly to the bottom
    No emotions to save me
    I ain’t got ’em anymore

    Night and day
    I deep drifting farther away
    Much too far from home
    Where the fires of passion keep me warm
    And I’m miles away from where we started
    No I don’t know the reason that we parted anymore

    S.O.S.
    I’m gonna do my best
    To get a message through to you
    Make contact
    The way we always did before
    S.O.S.
    I’m gonna get no rest
    ‘Til I come sailing home to you
    Through this storm

    And if my voice
    Starts suddenly shaking
    Don’t be confused anymore
    It’s just the sound of my heart breaking
    Ship to shore…

  2. When you find some time I’d like you to read this and let me know your thoughts. It’s a chapter from my favorite book from him and it deals with the loss of an elderly family member.

    It’s message of continuance as well as remembrance in this piece is very reassuring and extremely touching…

    There is a reason to be here… 🙂

    GREAT GRANDMA

    SHE WAS A WOMAN WITH A BROOM OR DUST PAN OR A WASHRAG OR A MIXING SPOON IN
    HER HAND. YOU SAW HER CUTTING PIECRUST IN THE MORNING, HUMMING TO IT, OR
    YOU SAW HER SETTING OUT THE BAKED PIES AT NOON OR TAKING THEM IN, COOL, AT
    DUSK. SHE RANG PORCELAIN CUPS LIKE A SWISS BELL RINGER, TO THEIR PLACE. SHE
    GLIDED THROUGH HALLS AS STEADILY AS A VACUUM MACHINE, SEEKING, FINDING AND
    SETTING TO RIGHTS.
    SHE MADE MIRRORS OUT OF EVERY WINDOW, TO CATCH THE SUN. SHE STROLLED BUT
    TWICE THROUGH ANY GARDEN, TROWEL IN HAND, AND THE FLOWERS RAISED THEIR
    QUIVERING FIRES UPON THE WARM AIR OF HER WAKE. SHE SLEPT QUIETLY AND TURNED
    NO MORE THAN THREE TIMES IN A NIGHT, AS RELAXED AS A WHITE GLOVE TO WHICH,
    AT DAWN, A BRISK HAND WILL RETURN. WAKING, SHE TOUCHED PEOPLE LIKE
    PICTURES, TO SET THEIR FRAMES STRAIGHT.

    BUT, NOW…?

    “GRANDMA,” SAID EVERYONE. “GREAT-GRANDMA”.

    NOW IT WAS AS IF A HUGE SUM IN ARITHMETIC WERE FINALLY DRAWING TO AN END.
    SHE HAD STUFFED TURKEYS, CHICKENS, SQUABS, GENTLEMEN AND BOYS. SHE HAD
    WASHED CEILINGS, WALLS, INVALIDS, AND CHILDREN. SHE HAD LAID LINOLEUM,
    REPAIRED BICYCLES, WOUND CLOCKS, STOKED FURNACES, SWABBED IODINE ON TEN
    THOUSAND GRIEVOUS WOUNDS. HER HANDS HAD FLOWN ALL AROUND ABOUT AND DOWN,
    GENTLING THIS, HOLDING THAT, THROWING BASEBALLS, SWINGING BRIGHT CROQUET
    MALLETS, SEEDING BLACK EARTH, OR FIXING COVERS OVER DUMPLINGS, RAGOUTS, AND
    CHILDREN WILDLY STREWN BY SLUMBER. SHE HAD PULLED DOWN SHADES, PINCHED OUT
    CANDLES, TURNED SWITCHES, AND – GROWN OLD. LOOKING BACK ON THIRTY
    BILLIONS OF THINGS STARTED, CARRIED, FINISHED AND DONE, IT ALL SUMMED UP,
    TOTALED OUT; THE LAST DECIMAL WAS PLACED, THE FINAL ZERO SWUNG SLOWLY INTO
    LINE A SILENT HOUR BEFORE REACHING FOR THE ERASER.

    “LET ME SEE NOW” SAID GREAT-GRANDMA. “LET ME SEE……..”
    WITH NO FUSS OR FURTHER ADO, SHE TRAVELED THE HOUSE IN AN EVER-CIRCLING
    INVENTORY, REACHED THE STAIRS AT LAST, AND, MAKING NO SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT,
    SHE TOOK HERSELF UP THE THREE FLIGHTS TO HER ROOM WHERE, SILENTLY, SHE LAID
    HERSELF OUT LIKE A FOSSIL IMPRINT UNDER THE SNOWING COOL SHEETS OF HER BED
    AND BEGAN TO DIE.

    AGAIN THE VOICES:

    “GRANDMA!, GREAT-GRANDMA!”
    THE RUMOR OF WHAT SHE WAS DOING DROPPED DOWN THE STAIRWELL, HIT, AND
    SPREAD RIPPLES THROUGH THE ROOMS, OUT THE DOORS AND WINDOWS AND ALONG THE
    STREET OF ELMS TO THE EDGE OF THE GREEN RAVINE.
    “HERE NOW HERE!” THE FAMILY SURROUNDED HER BED.
    “JUST LET ME LIE,” SHE WHISPERED.

    HER AILMENT COULD NOT BE SEEN IN ANY MICROSCOPE; IT WAS A MILD BUT
    EVER-DEEPENING TIREDNESS, A DIM WEIGHTING OF HER SPARROW BODY; SLEEPY;
    SLEEPIER; SLEEPIEST.
    AS FOR HER CHILDREN AND HER CHILDREN’S CHILDREN-IT SEEMED IMPOSSIBLE
    THAT WITH SUCH A SIMPLE ACT, THE MOST LEISURELY ACT IN THE WORLD, SHE COULD
    CAUSE SUCH APPREHENSION.
    “GREAT-GRANDMA, NOW LISTEN- WHAT YOU’RE DOING IS NO BETTER THAN
    BREAKING A LEASE. THIS HOUSE WILL FALL DOWN WITHOUT YOU. YOU MUST GIVE US
    AT LEAST A YEAR’S NOTICE!”

    GREAT-GRANDMA OPENED ONE EYE. NINETY YEARS GAZED CALMLY OUT AT HER
    PHYSICIANS LIKE A DUST-GHOST FROM A HIGH CUPOLA WINDOW IN A FAST EMPTYING
    HOUSE. “TOM…?”
    THE BOY WAS SENT, ALONE, TO HER WHISPERING BED.
    “TOM,” SHE SAID, FAINTLY, FAR AWAY, “IN THE SOUTHERN SEAS THERE’S
    A DAY IN EACH MAN’S LIFE WHEN HE KNOWS IT’S TIME TO SAY GOOD-BY AND
    SAIL AWAY, AND HE DOES, AND IT’S NATURAL-IT’S JUST HIS TIME. THAT’S
    HOW IT IS TODAY. I’M SO LIKE YOU SOMETIMES, SITTING THROUGH SATURDAY
    MATINEES UNTIL NINE AT NIGHT WHEN WE SEND YOUR DAD TO BRING YOU HOME. TOM,
    WHEN THE TIME COMES THAT THE SAME COWBOYS ARE SHOOTING THE SAME INDIANS ON
    THE SAME MOUNTAINTOP, THEN IT’S BEST TO FOLD BACK THE SEAT AND HEAD FOR
    THE DOOR, WITH NO REGRETS AND NO WALKING BACKWARD UP THE AISLE. SO, I’M
    LEAVING WHILE I’M HAPPY AND STILL ENTERTAINED”.

    DOUGLAS WAS SUMMONED NEXT TO HER SIDE.

    “GRANDMA, WHO’LL SHINGLE THE ROOF NEXT SPRING?”

    EVERY APRIL FOR AS FAR BACK AS THERE WERE CALENDERS, YOU THOUGHT YOU HEARD
    WOODPECKERS TAPPING THE HOUSETOP. BUT NO, IT WAS GREAT-GRANDMA, SOMEHOW
    TRANSPORTED, SINGING, POUNDING NAILS, REPLACING SHINGLES, HIGH IN THE SKY!

    “DOUGLAS,” SHE WHISPERED, “DON’T EVER LET ANYONE DO THE SHINGLES
    UNLESS IT’S FUN FOR THEM.”
    “YES’M”
    “LOOK AROUND COME APRIL, AND SAY, “WHO’D LIKE TO FIX THE ROOF?’
    AND WHICHEVER FACE LIGHTS UP IS THE FACE YOU WANT, DOUGLAS. BECAUSE UP
    THERE ON THAT ROOF YOU CAN SEE THE WHOLE TOWN GOING TOWARD THE COUNTRY AND
    THE COUNTRY GOING TOWARD THE EDGE OF THE EARTH AND THE RIVER SHINING, AND
    THE MORNING LAKE, AND BIRDS ON THE TREES DOWN UNDER YOU, AND THE BEST OF
    THE WIND ALL AROUND ABOVE.
    ANY ONE OF THOSE SHOULD BE ENOUGH TO MAKE A PERSON CLIMB A WEATHER VANE
    SOME SPRING SUNRISE. IT’S A POWERFUL HOUR, IF YOU GIVE IT HALF A
    CHANCE…

    HER VOICE SANK TO A FLUTTER.

    DOUGLAS WAS CRYING.

    SHE ROUSED HERSELF AGAIN. “NOW, WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT?”
    “BECAUSE,” HE SAID, “YOU WON’T BE HERE TOMORROW.”
    SHE TURNED A SMALL HAND MIRROR FROM HERSELF TO THE BOY. HE LOOKED AT HER
    FACE AND HIMSELF IN THE MIRROR AND THEN AT HER FACE AGAIN AS SHE SAID,
    “TOMMORROW MORNING I’LL GET UP AT SEVEN AND WASH BEHIND MY EARS; I”LL
    RUN TO CHURCH WITH CHARLIE WOODMAN; I’LL PICNIC AT ELECTRIC PARK; I’LL
    SWIM, RUN BAREFOOT, FALL OUT OF TREES, CHEW SPEARMINT GUM…..DOUGLAS,
    DOUGLAS, FOR SHAME! YOU CUT FINGERNAILS, DON’T YOU?”
    “YES’M”
    “AND YOU DON’T YELL WHEN YOUR BODY MAKES ITSELF OVER EVERY SEVEN YEARS
    OR SO, OLD CELLS DEAD AND NEW ONES ADDED TO YOUR FINGERS AND YOUR HEART.
    YOU DON’T MIND THAT, DO YOU?”
    “NO’M”
    “WELL, CONSIDER THEN, BOY. ANY MAN SAVES FINGERNAIL CLIPPINGS IS A FOOL.
    YOU EVER SEE A SNAKE BOTHER TO KEEP HIS PEELED SKIN? THAT’S ABOUT ALL YOU
    GOT HERE TODAY IN THIS BED IS FINGERNAILS AND SNAKE SKIN.

    ONE GOOD BREATH WOULD SEND ME UP IN FLAKES. IMPORTANT THING IS NOT THE ME
    THAT’S LYING HERE, BUT THE ME THAT’S SITTING ON THE EDGE OF THE BED
    LOOKING BACK AT ME, AND THE ME THAT’S DOWNSTAIRS COOKING SUPPER, OR OUT
    IN THE GARAGE UNDER THE CAR, OR IN THE LIBRARY READING. ALL THE NEW PARTS,
    THEY COUNT. I’M NOT REALLY DYING TODAY. NO PERSON EVER DIED THAT HAD A
    FAMILY. I’LL BE AROUND A LONG TIME. A THOUSAND YEARS FROM NOW A WHOLE
    TOWNSHIP OF MY OFFSPRING WILL BE BITING SOUR APPLES IN THE GUMWOOD SHADE.
    THAT’S MY ANSWER TO ANYONE ASKS BIG QUESTIONS! QUICK NOW, SEND IN THE
    REST!
    AT LAST THE ENTIRE FAMILY STOOD, LIKE PEOPLE SEEING SOMEONE OFF AT A RAIL
    STATION, WAITING IN THE ROOM.
    “WELL,” SAID GREAT-GRANDMA, “THERE I AM. I’M NOT HUMBLE, SO IT’S
    NICE SEEING YOU STANDING AROUND MY BED. NOW NEXT WEEK THERE’S LATE
    GARDENING AND CLOSET-CLEANING AND CLOTHES BUYING FOR CHILDREN TO DO. AND
    SINCE THE PART OF ME WHICH IS CALLED, FOR CONVENIENCE, GREAT-GRANDMA,
    WON’T BE HERE TO STEP IT ALONG, THOSE OTHER PARTS OF ME CALLED UNCLE BERT
    AND LEO AND TOM AND DOUGLAS, AND ALL THE OTHER NAMES, WILL HAVE TO TAKE
    OVER, EACH TO HIS OWN”.

    “YES, GRANDMA.”

    “I DON’T WANT ANY HALLOWEEN PARTIES HERE TOMORROW. DON’T WANT ANYONE
    SAYING ANYTHING SWEET ABOUT ME; I SAID IT ALL IN MY TIME AND MY PRIDE.
    I’VE TASTED EVERY VICTUAL AND DANCED EVERY DANCE; NOW THERE’S ONE TUNE
    I HAVEN’T WHISTLED. BUT I’M NOT AFRAID. I’M TRULY CURIOUS. DEATH
    WON’T GET A CRUMB BY MY MOUTH I WON’T KEEP AND SAVOR. SO DON’T WORRY
    OVER ME. NOW, ALL OF YOU GO, AND LET ME FIND MY SLEEP….”

    SOMEWHERE A DOOR CLOSED QUIETLY.

    “THAT’S BETTER.” ALONE, SHE SNUGGLED LUXURIOUSLY DOWN THROUGH THE
    WARM SNOWBANK OF LINEN AND WOOL, SHEET AND COVER, AND THE COLORS OF THE
    PATCHWORK QUILT WERE BRIGHT AS THE CIRCUS BANNERS OF OLD TIME. LYING THERE,
    SHE FELT AS SMALL AND SECRET AS ON THOSE MORNINGS EIGHTY-SOME-ODD
    YEARS AGO WHEN, WAKENING, SHE COMFORTED HER TENDER BONES IN BED.
    A LONG TIME BACK, SHE THOUGHT, I DREAMED A DREAM, AND THAT WAS THE DAY I
    WAS BORN. AND NOW?, NOW ?, LET ME SEE…

    SHE CAST HER MIND BACK. WHERE WAS I? SHE THOUGHT.
    NINETY YEARS….HOW TO TAKE UP THE THREAD AND THE PATTERN OF THAT LOST
    DREAM AGAIN? SHE PUT OUT A SMALL HAND.
    THERE………YES, THAT WAS IT. SHE SMILED. DEEPER IN THE WARM SNOW HILL
    SHE TURNED HER HEAD UPON HER PILLOW. THAT WAS BETTER. NOW, YES, NOW SHE SAW
    IT SHAPING IN HER MIND QUIETLY, AND WITH A SERENITY LIKE A SEA MOVING ALONG
    AN ENDLESS AND SELF-REFRESHING SHORE. NOW SHE LET THE OLD DREAM TOUCH AND
    LIFT HER FROM THE SNOW AND DRIFT HER ABOVE THE SCARCE-REMEMBERED BED.

    DOWNSTAIRS, SHE THOUGHT, THEY ARE POLISHING THE SILVER, AND RUMMAGING THE
    CELLAR, AND DUSTING IN THE HALLS. SHE COULD HEAR THEM LIVING ALL THROUGH
    THE HOUSE.
    “IT’S ALL RIGHT,” WHISPERED GREAT-GRANDMA, AS THE DREAM FLOATED HER.
    “LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE IN THIS LIFE, IT’S FITTING.”

    AND THE SEA MOVED HER BACK DOWN THE SHORE…

    RAY BRADBURY ~

    DANDELION WINE

  3. Realizing there’s no such thing
    Just love

  4. Ms. Hill, sweet blessings.
    I am an Earth Artist, working jewelry in the Mojave Desert of California.
    I recently read Frank MacEowen’s work, and was intersted to learn of a quidance on a meditation CD.
    His website is no longer available. Do you have any contact with him, that I may avail?

    As we are from the same family clan, I will also address my question to yourself. Most of my life, I have centered my learning on Medicine and Teaching wheels told to have come from the South Pacific, to the Americas. The teachings were at times, the guiding force in the peoples lives, and at others, no more than memories held to by slaves.

    I am in the middle of researching about our ancient past, with great hope of guiding the peace we shared globally into our present for our future. My ex-wife’s family is from Tecoman, Colima, MX. Archeology is providing rich detail of the lives of these people referred to of the West Mexican Arc, a series of settlements laid out upon lakes in the Nayarit, Jalisco, and Colima states of Mexico.

    Richard Townsend of the Chicago Art Institute, placed a collection of essays together called, Art and Archeology of an Unknown Past. Inside, one of the writers states that the West Mexicans looked to be a culture of peace. There were no finds of heart sacrifice or ritual warfare.

    Looking into this past, I also wanted to find the peoples I felt were trading and traveling into the area, to search out the trail of peace across the globe. Ivar Zapp writ about this in his work, Antlantis in America.

    I am also talking with the people of Dr. Steven Greer’s Disclosure Project. He is hoping to bring out the truth on UFO and Astral Beings.

    In reading Frank’s book, the Tuatha De Dana reminded me of the Astral Beings, with their internal light.

    Centered to peace, I am hopeful to find a meditative CD that can help my work to look into realms and time to find the people and beings of peace, connecting.

    I welcome your reply and hope we may be able to share.

    With love and hope,
    John Patrick Hill
    Earth Artist

  5. The Quickest Way To Life
    Is to Love
    And the Surest Way To Live
    Is to Be Loved
    (in Return)

    =)
    Love,
    Mathew Titus

  6. Sweet Story Matt.

    Love,
    julia

  7. I really like this, and have returned to it a few times today already. I like how you lean into the jagged edges of honesty. It definitely strikes a chord with me. Think I’ll print it and keep it close and continue to think on it. But also think it would be great if you would expound upon it some, perhaps in another post. I always like how poetry just gets at the heart of things with so few words. But I’d love to hear you go into this one some as well.

    And, if not, that’s cool too. Either way, thanks for sharing this.

  8. A crises is an oppurtunity riding with wild holy abandon the delisiouisly dangerous winds of change-May u drop deeply into the heart-woumb of this moment’s unending flow of love metamorphasis miracles.All it takes is to wish upon a luminously magical,profoundly precious scar, beloved butterfly.
    All
    it
    takes
    is
    to
    wish
    upon
    a
    scar

  9. It seems like you’ve learned some impressive wisdom along the way. Love the poem.

  10. =)happy thoughts 2u ingesting the data stay focused..run the race set b4 u….

  11. *gasp*

    Are you kidding? I’ve never known anyone so worthy of love as you!

  12. Hi Kenny! Here’s the thing. We are all worthy of love! And even though i “know” this, it has been and is one of my hugest issues i deal with. Funny, that, huh?

  13. Beautiful heartfelt response kenny,certainly i’m sure we all share the same sentiment of of how deeply derserving julia is of love!!! Just as much as you are or i am or as any being on this plane is because the universe exists in total equality and for me if loads and loads of very well intentioned people were constantly putting me on a pedestal and exclaiming to me and treating me as if i was the person most deserving of love,constantly calling me a spiritual leader and superhero who people look up to as being some kind of perfect tree hugging saint i also would feel undeserving,hello.How unfair is this- What a catch 22 dichotomy here,what an inner turmoil it would be to feel like i have to live up to some perfect moral precedent setter superhero identity like a fu$#ing ever elusive carrot on a stick and then beat myself up about it because i never can-it’s an impossibility .Like sistah julia says often let’s liberate ourselves and eachother from celebritites folks. The way i see Julia Butterfly Hill is as a Good woman doing the very best she can and a Awesome Environmental Activist, nothing more and certainly nothing less.How amazingly simple,light and worthy is that !

  14. Hei Julia, what’s the matter with you ?
    You’ll always receive the support and liking, in one way or another, by all the people which feel affinity and sense of sharing.
    I know it is not much but what I can offer is a genuine and caring thought.
    Hopefully, it might travel up to the USA !!!
    Greetings
    From Italy

    P.S. Somewhere I read you called at SCAVOLINI kitchens in Italy; well, my family come just from that neighbourhood.

  15. I’m curious, now that you have been writing this blog for a while now, if you can reflect on what it is for? For you and for the readers? This post and response makes me wonder.

  16. Bree, i write for the sake of writing. On occasion, i write because i am requesting support for a project i am working on. Other times i write with the hope that something in my sharing will be a contribution to others. Pretty simple.

    Love,
    julia

  17. “To die but not to perish is to be eternally present.” Lao-Tzu.
    You probably “know” all this too, Julia, and have experienced too… most of us have been so programmed that Creator/God/Whatever is only out there, that to fully face and handle the Creator’s energy/love inside is so intense (or should i say in-relaxing?!) There is often little preparation for this, and has to be experienced. i have had occasions where i did something that deserved reprimand and i felt that reprimand, but then right after that i felt this energy of mercy, love, and turn-on pouring into me… my ego-self was thinking i deserved to hang my head for a longer period of time but the higher energy was saying: get on with it, get out there, stay home… Higher Love space is always ON, though humans sometimes turn it off. The actual experience of Love Is . . .

  18. Begin Over Right Now
    Because Of Real News
    Deliver Eternal Abscence of The Holy

    Bask in Real Truth Here

    =)HAPPY THOUGHTS
    sbv 8/2010

    agree with higher love idea pressed down and shaken, life has alot of chaff but the wind of renewal can only remove what we release….

    jbh ? dream of a young lady on large hill with a cane grew colorful butterfly wings, dropped the cane, and slowly becomes transparent? as a swarm of little people come off the hill and scatter on the wind.

    stay the course when you think your done in look 4 the second wind =)

  19. Wow! Thank you for sharing this poem. It is strangely reassuring to know that even people who’ve done great things still grapple with feeling small. Much love to you, amazing lady!

  20. S(he) who never made a misTake never made a discoVery! Here’s to endless discoverWe’s!!!

  21. The Bradbury story brought tears to my eyes. reminding me of my “Great Grandma” Miss Addie. I’m going to share your post with my sisters. Guess I ought to go get that book to read again.
    Thanks for your talks to James’s sangha. I’ve been waiting for a long time to meet you.
    Mac

  22. Hi Mac,

    It was such a joy and an honor to share at your Sangha! Those conversations and sharings re-presence me to my commitments which is very helpful for me.

    Love,

    julia


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