The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Eternity Dancing


One of my favorite shows from the 1990’s is Northern Exposure.  The town of Cicily, Alaska is inhabited by quirky and delightful characters ranging from a New York City born and bred,  Columbia University educated doctor who received his schooling via a scholarship from the state of Alaska and his agreement was that he go there to serve as a physician to pay off the debt, to a female pilot who dropped in from Michigan who has outrageously bad luck with boyfriends who die under weird circumstances,  with whom he has a love/hate relationship, from a radio D.J. philosopher to a grandiose retired astronaut who owns most of the town. The two  Cicilians I am shining the spotlight on in the Bliss Blog today are Ed Chigliak and Ruthanne Miller. Ed is a 20-something year old young man abandoned at birth and raised by the native tribe in the region. An aspiring filmaker and Shaman in training, he is simultaneously naive and wise; always searching for his roots and wings. Ruthanne is the older woman who runs the town’s general store. A transplant from somewhere in the ‘lower forty eight’, she had made Cicily her home for the past 30 years or more. Feisty, with a vibrance that belies her age, she is determined to remain fiercly independent. Ruthanne has just turned 75 and to Ed’s dismay, he comes to the conclusion that his friend is really old and knocking on death’s door. He attempts to protect her from herself and ends up realizing that she has a full, rich life left.


He is puzzled about a birthday present for her and finally comes up with a ‘gift that keeps on giving.’ At her birthday party, he hands her a jar of soil and tells her that it is only a part of her gift. He  then takes her to a majestic spot  high in the mountains, overlooking a spectacular vista. “This is it.”, he informs her. “What, Ed,” Ruthanne replies. “Well, not all of it. Just from here to here,” he points out a plot approximately six foot by six foot. He hesitantly continues, “It’s a place for your gravesite. Do you like it?” After considering several responses, Ruthanne answers “Well, yes Ed, it’s a lovely spot to spend eternity. Now what shall we do?” Ed looks confused and then answers her, “What do you want to do?” A twinkle forms in her eyes and she says with playfulness., “Dance on my grave. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime, wouldn’t you say?.” Together they dance with abandon.


Everyday we are called on to step out of our comfort zones and expand our horizons. How often do we answer the call? We may fret about our limitations as Ed did. We may celebrate our experience and age as Ruthanne did. When in doubt… Northern Exposure



Previous Posts

Creating A Life That You Love
In the past few days, events in my life have felt tumbled and tossed, necessitating regaining my footing, calling on family and friends for emotional support and guidance, and even more importantly, my deep and abiding faith that all is in ...

posted 8:47:15am Oct. 08, 2015 | read full post »

Down (sized) But Not Out
It's the news no one wants to hear. "Due to cost cutting measures, your position has been eliminated."  A job that I had been recruited for and dove into for more than a year, is no longer. My initial reaction was a mild emotional freak-out ...

posted 10:48:39pm Oct. 06, 2015 | read full post »

Wedding Wonders
One of my greatest joys in my role as an interfaith minister, is officiating at weddings. Although I have lost count, I estimate that I have married over 300 couples since being ordained in 1999. Mixed gender and same sex couples have walked ...

posted 10:09:09am Oct. 04, 2015 | read full post »

A Living, Breathing Dichotomy
Writing this while listening to my favorite radio station, WXPN, based here in the Philly area. Feet tapping along to the music, bopping into my day. Harry Connick, Jr. is serenading me at the moment. Awoke at the crack of dawn as has been my ...

posted 8:43:12am Oct. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Parenting For Life- An Interview With Author Nina Sidell
It's been said that children don't come into the world with a how-to manual. Most parents find their way through the sometimes bewildering maze of parenthood on auto pilot or through the ways in which previous generations raised them and their ...

posted 5:25:37pm Sep. 30, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.