Monday, July 10, 2017

In Memory of Michael Grove

Written July 2, 2017
Knighting manuscript page for Sir Gaheris based upon the Utrecht Psalter. Photo by Lisa Pompeo. Calligraphy and illumination by me.

I sit tonight, at this desk, alone but for kittens and my thoughts. It occurs to me how very lucky I am. My life is an odd thing, strangely shaped and it may not make sense to everyone. I strive to meet new people, have new experiences, hear new perspectives, and stretch myself to learn more about what life can be for myself, and what it is for others.

My schedule is often packed and I give of myself, my skills and my time when it can help another, no matter if they would or could return the favor. When I give of myself, I try to give those moments as a gift that needs no recompense but will be met with joy, and maybe even grace if I can muster it, if those gifts are some day returned. I don't think my choices make sense to everyone, sometimes especially to my family. To many it might seem strange that I know so very many people, and can find a place in my heart for them.

The inherent danger in having such a lush garden of friends and associates is that sometimes there are those that I will lose. I suppose it seems, on the outside, that I happen to know a lot of people who have passed away. Indeed, I have. Each time it takes a toll as a remarkable person leaves with our time spent together cut far too short. I cry. I ache inside. I grieve. But, no matter the pain of their departure from this world, I would not trade a minute of knowing them to lift the stifling veil of sadness that their passing has brought.

For in the knowing of them there was joy, friendship, laughter, tears, memories and lessons that are the essential components of the person I have become. As I travel this garden path of my life, I collect friends and acquaintances as others would gather flowers. It is those memories made with these friends that I press like Autumn leaves between the pages of my life.

Some future day, I will open up that page of my heart and that treasure will flutter out. I may laugh at a remembered jest, recite a line or song or verse, or I may just press that memory to my chest, inhale the beauty or joy or sadness that it brings and let the lesson which that person engraved upon my soul linger for a moment while I remember them.

Today, well, now it would be yesterday, we said our aching goodbyes to a remarkable man. Gaheris Vitruvius Gracchus was unlike anyone I have ever known and I do not believe that I will meet his like again. Although there is now grief, and a hole left in the space he once filled, I must still count myself lucky. I knew him. I will remember him. Some day I will turn a corner and a memory will rise up inside me, and on that day and every other where he crosses my mind, I will know that I made the right choice to carry him in my heart.

For I carry them all in my heart and where I go, they will always be. But for now, I will let the poets say it far better, and more succinctly than I might with my rambling words. Good night, and joy be with you all.


i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


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