Becoming at home with infinity: A reflection on year four of your passing…
My dearest Harold:
Here it is again. The summer solstice. The day you departed your body. I thought it would be easier to write this year’s memorial blog post than it has been in the first three years. I woke up knowing exactly what I wanted to say. I’ve been composing it as I walk, prepare my breakfast, go about my day. But it is getting harder and harder, because I want it to be perfect. I want to be able to say in words the feelings I carry in my heart. And that simply isn’t possible.I remember what you so often said when you stood in awe and wonder before the treasures of life (which was just about everything you saw): “Oh if only I could say it! I want so much to say it!” And that’s where I stand right now; filled more and more each day with the awe and wonder of who you were (and are!)and what you gave to us all. And I feel almost desperate to say it — shout it out — fall on my knees — let the universe know and comprehend the true miracle that is you! But of course, the universe knows that! The universe is your home, our home, and you always were an ambassador, a voice from the creative source of the universe.
I created a YouTube video clip from one of your teaching tapes and I listen to it when I need reminding of my own connection to the great source of creativity. This is the inspiration you gave to your students. This is why you were so legendary as a teacher…and as my teacher too.
We have the concept of beginnings and endings. Being born and dying. The essence of infinity and continuum confounds us. But this pays tribute to, or should encourage us in, the creative process. Because the creative process is endless. The creative process is becoming at home with infinity…with the vastness of all that is. It’s not…”I’ll create until I get this result and that’s it.” No. It doesn’t stop at this painting or this flower. Creativity is a continuous process. It’s like the expansion of the universe — a constant process of creating. Creativity. The Creator. This is where it all came from. And so the creative process is sacred and holy because it’s becoming…and it’s still becoming…and then you’re right in it and its becoming even more…So where does this word boredom come into our vocabulary? What is this about killing time? What is this about taking these precious moments that are galaxies of creativity and doing what you dislike in those moments? How are we garnishing, treasuring , expending, appreciating the intense treasure that is all around us and certainly within us…that the most powerful microscope and the most powerful telescope are not yet powerful enough to begin to see the beginning of the end…Why are we now wondering what to do with ourselves other than to become enthralled with WHAT IS?”
At your memorial party after you parted, Sarah put together a beautiful video made up of photos, quotes, contributions from your friends. And what music did she chose? “Here Comes the Sun” — of course. And when I asked Greta Bro if she would come and share her magical voice with us to honor you, what did she pick? Yep, you guessed it. And what was it Ronnie Ginniver said — in the film — “He was a force of nature. He was like the wind or the sun…” And of course, I always called you “the man who swallowed the sun.” I get it that that’s why you left on the Summer Solstice. So helpful of you to leave me some time with my grief while the sun was still so constant…warming me, shining on me as you always did. Thanks for that. I’m not sure I could’ve gotten through it in the dead of winter.
I came across these words from the tribute book that Sarah and I had put together for your tribute party. I keep them handy when the going gets rough.
Thank you for blowing on my spark so patiently, so consistently, so lovingly, so generously. I know…people will think this is just the romantic pattering of a widow re-visiting her grief on a day of commemoration. But of course they would be people who never knew you. Because anyone who did know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. A force of nature indeed.