What Matters?

Dear readers,

What matters to you? The people you’re connected to, the books you read, the work you do, the legacy you’ll leave behind?

And when you come to the end of your life, what matters then? Have you considered such matters as burial or cremation?

Mark Harris considered them, and he wrote a potent book about them, called Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial.

I had read many books on death and dying already, but this book was different. It was tough to read, maybe because Harris made me love the people whose death stories he tells. I felt grief and a sinking sick feeling as if people close to me had died. Still, I think that Grave Matters is a very important read for those who can handle it.

During this quaran-time, if you are suddenly feeling like you need to “put your affairs in order,” this book may be helpful to you.

In any case, may you be blessed to feel in alignment with what matters most to you.

With grit and grace,
StarFire Teja


Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash.


Edward Abbey: Benedicto

“Benedicto: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets’ towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you — beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”  ~ Edward Abbey

Edward Abbey was born January 29th, 1927 in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and died March 14th, 1989 in his Tucson, Arizona home.

Dear reader… this Benedicto is one of my favorite poems ever!
I feel so much passion and love when I read it aloud. Perhaps you will enjoy reading it out loud also.

Are you familiar with Edward Abbey? He was an American writer and environmental activist who (fittingly) arranged for his own green burial before he died. He did not want to be embalmed or placed in a coffin. Rather, he requested that his friends place him in the rocky earth inside his old sleeping bag. His instructions read, “I want my body to help fertilize the growth of a cactus or cliff rose or sagebrush or tree.” So, Edward Abbey’s friends buried him (illegally) somewhere in southwestern Arizona.

To learn more about legal green burials, you can visit the website of the Green Burial Council to find green cemeteries in the USA. If you are in the UK, here is a site about green burials: The Natural Death Centre, which maintains a list of natural burial grounds. If you live in another country and know of a website for green burials there, please share in the comments below. Also, in one of my previous posts, (“Will You Choose Burial or Cremation?”) I mentioned a book on this topic, which I will review here soon.

The trails of our lives are winding and mysterious…
And, as Edward Abbey wrote, hopefully they are leading to the most amazing views!

May this post uplift your mind and touch your heart.

With great love,


Grand Canyon photo* taken by Teja in Arizona in May, 2015.

* If you are viewing this post in an email, simply click on the title of the article and you will be taken to the StarFire Teja Blog where you can see the red rock photo!