(Essay) The Students of Life and Death by Robin Stimpson

“Solve"©2015 Robin Stimpson. "Fall down, fall apart, fall from grace, She will be waiting to receive you."
“Solve”©2015 Robin Stimpson. “Fall down, fall apart, fall from grace, She will be waiting to receive you.”

I am a woman on a barren path. A deep chasm is before me, a bottomless wound in the Earth. By a tangle of dry roots, the very last of what is alive on Earth clings to the edge of the pit. It is Jasmine. The scent is so beautiful. I weep. I scream. So fragile, so finite. When it is the end, there can be no more fighting.

I am a woman lying down in that pit, and I am ending my life. All that I loved has become corrupt, and died. I surrender. I give in. The only thing I have left is myself and I have no use for her. Take me, Mother, deep in your heart where there is no light at all, and hold me.

I am the worm that eats death. I live in shit. It is what I am made of and shall return to. I eat all day and all night, in a long, patient row. I don’t think about why. Everything that passes through me is broken down, and destroyed utterly. I leave it all behind me. I never look back.

I am a seed, deep in the Earth. I am so alone. All I know is the truth about what I am, all around me is chaos and death. Killing and being killed. Eating and being eaten. This is the truth about life, but I am also alive and in my heart I know there is more.

I am a seed, deep in the Earth. I am so alone. I reach out in the darkness for help. There is only more death, more suffering. I touch the body of a dead woman, near to me in the mud. Why is she here? Where did she come from? I wrap my roots around her so tenderly. I hold her bony hand. I stir inside. If there is nothing but death in this place save for me, then so be it. I am alive, and I will create more life.

I am a seed, deep in the Earth. I am Death’s, and she is mine. From her very own body she sustains me, and from mine, she nourishes hers. I was scared to touch her, now we are never apart. She is always on my mind. We sing love songs to each other. I tell her I love her wild destruction, I love to pick up the pieces and make more beautiful new life. She laughs and pulls me a little closer.

I am a sprout, soft and tender on the Land. I am not afraid. My roots run all the way to the centre of the Earth, and all the way around. With my beloved wife Death, I share the entire world. I love her so much; I give her every living thing I make. She accepts them all, one at a time. She takes her time with each of my gifts; slowly she unwraps them. She knows that deep inside everything I make for her there is a poem, totally unique each time. I write them to hear her read them. Only she knows what they mean.

I am a flower, vivid and fragrant. I am the lovemaking of Life and Death. I am naked, and my beauty is for all the world to behold. Creation is a rite of pleasure, and my ecstasy is boundlessly fertile. I fly on it, far, far away and all that I meet along the way I greet with a kiss.

I am a hummingbird, high above the Earth. I look upon the alchemists, Life and Death. They are entwined as lovers, smiling and playfully feeding each other. I let my frantic heart lead in my dive towards their living chalice. It is ancient, and made new eternally each moment. The cup is deep, and full of nectar. All of creation is free to drink of it and I drink deeply. The nectar in my body grants me another day to dance in the Alchemist’s Garden. It tastes like  life, and I know the cup is truly without end. It tastes like death, and I know one day I shall fill it.

I am a woman, tending the garden. I am a student of Love, and with reverence I listen to my teachers, Life and Death. All seasons come and pass in my view. All I make is through the power of Life, and Life has given her heart to Death. So have I pledged mine; I tend, and nurture, I prune and clear away. And so time as it has passed has done the same to me. I let the years and changes make and remake me. I bear witness to all I have helped to grow, everything that flourished despite my harming it, everything that has died despite my labour to keep it alive. I rest in contemplation, and in silence I hear my Mothers always. We are all drunk together on the elixir of life.

Read Meet Mago Contributor Robin Stimpson.



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Creative and truthful – truly befriending death allows us to live