Banner photo: Nate at the top of Devil’s Tower – an arduous climb – and typical of a Nate adventure.
Nathan O’Kones (February 16, 1982 – June 7, 2018) – our friend, computer expert, a young man who valued integrity, loved nature and the ocean – and being “outside” the box.
A Break in the Web
We grieve because we are a part
of one another
Connected by the golden thread
that binds us all
The absence of another is felt deeply
within our souls
We are displaced
when someone has departed
We don’t feel right,
we don’t feel centered
We lose our place and feel invalid
Whenever life’s flow is interrupted
The threads of our existence unravel
It is the others in our life
who weave us back together
Making us whole and strong once again
by Shelby Kane
The life of a soul on earth lasts beyond his departure.
always feel that life touching
that voice speaking to
you, that spirit looking out of
talking to you in the
familiar things he touched,
loved as familiar friends.
He lives on in your life and in the lives of all others that knew him.
– by Angelo Patri
Nate’s mom Barbara was here on Maui the last 12 days or so to finalize Nate’s responsibilities and material goods. I feel blessed to get to know her – and Nate’s friends we had never met.
Nate does live on.
Our son Johnny, who counted Nate as one of his best friends, planted an ulu tree, a tree that nourishes many (our “Nate” tree) in our yard; we think Nate would like that.
May we hold each other in the light. As Ram Dass (& artist Sherri Reeve) say, “We are all just walking each other home.”
Our loss reminds us of the importance of each day and each person in our lives.
[America] is really where the experiment is unfolding. This is really where the races confront one another, where the classes, where the genders, where even the sexual orientations confront one another. This is the real laboratory of democracy”
– Leonard Cohen
“After baseball, America’s favorite pastime may be the process of reinventing itself, continuously redefining its identity and searching for its soul”
– Brenda Payton
“We take freedom for granted, and because of this we don’t understand how incredibly vulnerable it is”
There is much to be done wherever you are.
Quotations from The Sun, Issue 493, January 2017, p. 48.
From the poetry of Raymond Carver – Late Fragment.
Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (341 BC – 270 BC) has words of wisdom for us today:
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us.
Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist.
Image from: https://www.google.com/search?q=images+of+Epicurus&tbm=isch&imgil=XJgsYyxeHRRAsM%253A%253B_IRJbSwuqE4wiM%253Bhttps%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.pinterest.com%25252Ftilly26%25252Fepicurus%25252F&source=iu&pf=m&fir=XJgsYyxeHRRAsM%253A%252C_IRJbSwuqE4wiM%252C_&usg=__4AKaKpEnSQuC3JjTl38ivYfunck%3D&ved=0ahUKEwig45S8ncTVAhWChFQKHexXArIQyjcITw&ei=GeWHWeDyEYKJ0gLsr4mQCw&biw=1440&bih=759#imgrc=NXjO7cdGjVWwhM:
“Ever’thing there is but lovin’ leaves a rust on yo’ soul,” Langston Hughes.
James Mercer Langston Hughes, (1902-1967) an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri, was one of the earliest innovators of jazz poetry.
P.S. The banner photo is of a dragon fruit bloom – planted at our house by Johnny about three years ago. Love surrounds us in the fruit and beauty of nature wherever we are.
Yesterday in my search through a cupboard for a tea bag, I came across two lovely sayings – taped to chai tea bags! I’m sure the tea bags – and sayings – were from delightful Servas guests we had recently. You are sure to like these messages too:
“The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.” 🙂
“Laughter . . . is a tranquilizer with no side effects.” 🙂
Words of wisdom from Servas guests Doris & Robin of Vancouver & Munich.
These words from Buddha seem wise – and useful – for us to remember today.
“Thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit.
And habit hardens into character;
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings . . .
As the shadow follows the body,
As we think so we become.”
Buddha – From the Dhammapada
“Memory collapses time, novelty unfolds it.
You can exercise daily and eat healthy, and live a long life, while experiencing a short one. If you spend your life sitting in a cubicle and passing papers, one day is bound to blend unmemorably into the next – and disappear. That’s why it’s important to change routines regularly, and take vacations to exotic locales, and have as many new experiences as possible that can serve to anchor our memories. Creating new memories stretches our psychological time, and lengthens our perceptions of our lives” (77).
from Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art & Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer
In a summary of the book, Amazon notes, “On average, people squander forty days annually compensating for things they’ve forgotten. Joshua Foer used to be one of those people. But after a year of memory training, he found himself in the finals of the U.S. Memory Championship. Even more important, Foer found a vital truth we too often forget: In every way that matters, we are the sum of our memories.”
So do something beyond your routine: read a book – maybe this one, hike a new path, talk to someone outside your circle . . . Make today – and tomorrow – memorable.
P.S. Thanks for recommending this book, Esther.
One of the pleasures of the year-end holidays is catching up with friends who live near and far, some even continents away.
Here are great messages from a few of those friends:
Rebecca, Kundalini teacher in Bali, says, “Open your heart. Bow to beauty, bow to truth, bow to love. Whatever doesn’t serve you, shake it off.”
Harvey, 80+ year-old Servas and Quaker Friend from rural Minnesota, sent along these two quotations that seem particularly apt for 2017:
“Power concedes nothing without demand. It never has and never will.”
– Fredrick Douglass
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Kristine from Chicago reports, “So–things are good here . . . in fact, I have moments of unbelievable happiness . . . I bet you do too!”
May 2017 bring many blessings to you and your family and community – wherever you are. May you feel unbelievable happiness, work for justice, and open your heart in 2017 and beyond.
“Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it’s often one of the great motivations for living. Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury. Some need its constant presence to even be aware of its antithesis. Others become so preoccupied with it that they go into the waiting room long before it has announced its arrival. We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone” (325)
From Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove.