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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

By a Monastery on a Mountain

What do you say when death talks to you?
When her voice is the sound a river makes when it’s a looooooong way down, or a wind that just needs to make you stumble?
Do you talk about your family, or how you need to cut your toenails?
Do you scream, “THIS IS COMFORTABLE! THIS IS FINE!” ?
Or do you ask to see a friend again so that you can say, “I wanted you to know I’m sorry, before I slip and leave little pieces of myself everywhere, I wish I had been better and I wish you were here, or at least that I could hear your voice instead of the wind or my own breathing before I fall.”
But nobody ever says any of that, because it’s rude. When death talks in a voice that sounds like the world is a bigger place than your problems and concerns, or like a mountain– when death is in every syllable of the climb, you do not make a noise, and if you breathe you make sure it’s a whisper-breath.
Death has something to say, and you will never get to reply.