Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Great Joy

This last sunday was Ric's memorial.
I looked forward to the community gathering and sharing but dreaded it's passing. Like holding a fresh picked Indian Paintbrush flower that within two seconds of pinching off the hairy stem all the life escapes it's vibrant body. A special something that inhabited the lovely wild thing, that is never to return as that flower again.
So we sat in a hot room; listened to music, cried, laughed, and spoke of a man who never criticized anyone or their art. Who accepted his diagnosis of a cruel and virulent cancer as a gift. Who for the last eight years of his life opened his heart in a gentle and kind way to all who came to him. Even at Sloan-Kettering during his stem cell agony when he could barely pull himself off the bed, he sat up and listened to a young woman visitor who was in great mental pain. He was a Buddhist.
Ric was often scruffy with food and paint on his large t-shirts and jeans. And his hair! A young artist described how his hair resembled a burdock thistle. It was soft brown straight hair that moved in the slightest breeze. He would push the wispy strands away from his face while he concentrated.
He was a collector of ideas, words, images and people he would embrace then release. When he spoke- it was a often gathering of strange and surprising images that slowly escaped his mind and lay like marvelous exotic seeds before his students.

On Sunday's he would sit in a local cafe with all the newspapers on his table open waiting for people to come and discuss anything and everything. Many came. He was open to the unknown...
His death a was peaceful passing from conscious to the unknown, he was a man who was comfortable within himself. He was a teacher who opened doors that seemed locked. He unlocked my creativity when I was sure it was gone. All the paintings I have posted on this site have been inspired by his great joy.


Enjah said...

He sounds like a really beautiful person, a gift in your life and many others. I like your tribute very much!

robyn said...

Thank you E that means so much to me.
I am happy for his liberation but sad for my loss.