It’s the question. The question you feel in your stomach when it’s late and quiet in your room. Alone. When the music has stopped and the television is turned off and the book is closed. The question we fill our days to avoid. The question that appears loud and unspoken in the eyes of our children, so easily distracted with an ice cream cone. The question in the darkness. And in that darkness there’s a door. Look closely and you can see light pouring under the door, through the cracks, at the hinges. A light so bright it might possibly obliterate everything: our rooms our music our books our bodies our nervous promises to our children and every untouched ice cream cone. The light that will shine on our complicated darkness and expose the simple question we’re so afraid to ask. It’s not the darkness we fear, it’s the light behind the door. It’s not the answer we can’t hear, it’s the question we won’t ask.
~ Carolyn, from Communion, by Daniel MacIvor ~
So what is ‘The Question’? Death is the biggest fear we face in our lives. In many ways, it is what drives us to live, and what motivates many of our choices:
You want something to pray to? Pray to fear. Fear is what keeps us going. Fear of death keeps us living, fear of being alone keeps us together, fear of hunger keeps us fed, fear of flying keeps the train lines running. God is Fear.
~ Jane, from an earlier draft of Communion, by Daniel MacIvor ~
It’s been said that death is a part of life; that bearing witness to a loved one’s final passage helps us to prepare for our own. But before it’s our time it is hard to fathom the finite – the never again – the gone forever. Even with a strong belief system – whether it’s some form of redemption, rebirth, walking towards the light to a different plain of existence, or just ceasing to exist – it is an experience we all must face alone when our time comes.
In Communion MacIvor asks us to consider the possibility that we are not here just for ourselves – we can have a great impact on other people’s lives – what gives life true meaning is to be of service to others, in communion together. For Leda, Annie, and Carolyn, this is not an easy task. They are all looking for meaning and purpose, whatever their beliefs.
I don’t know what I believe concerning ‘The Question’. For me it’s still a work in progress. But I do believe in love.
It is my hope Communion will help us all come closer to answering ‘The Question’.
All you have to do is open the door. This is for you.