Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rest Peacefully

In nearly four years of blogging and approximately two years of social networking, I've virtually met a number of wonderful, creative and intelligent people. Those with whom I feel deeply connected, however, have been few and far between. Perhaps that is just a manifestation of who I am and how I go about the process of making friends.  Regardless of the reasons, I feel fortunate for both the purely friendly connections as well as the fewer, deeper friendships that I've developed through my internet experiences. 

Usually, those true friendships take a while to cement. Instinct almost always tells me that taking my time in any new relationship is a good idea. To be able to count on consistency in character and values in a friend is a sort of marker of that friend's authenticity, both online and in the real world. Georgia O'Keeffe once said: "Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time." 

In my life, I've found O'Keeffe's words to be largely true. One exception to "it takes time" happened when I made a new friend, Marc Panomoroff,  on the social network G+, perhaps a a year ago or so. A few months in getting to know Marc, he told me he was dying. Only a few hours ago today, December 5, I received an email from his daughter that he had passed away.

I don't recall how I stumbled upon his posts but almost immediately, I was struck by the sense of familiarity and ease with which we communicated. I pondered this spontaneous and rather quick new friendship and instead of my usual skepticism about fast friendships, I felt comfortable with it. It took me several months to understand the most important component of my trust in our friendship:  Marc was a gifted communicator. Not just a talented writer but truly gifted. And I  have his gift to thank for allowing me the privilege of getting to know him. Perhaps because he knew he was going to die, there was more of an urgency to get to know those he encountered along the way. What I concluded today is likely what others in Marc's life feel also. Whether they feel it in a way they can place into words or not doesn't matter. Marc was a person who reached those who attempted to reached back. That's what it's all about, isn't it? 

Of the things Marc and I had in common - literature, poetry, daughters, music was what we bonded around the most. We didn't have identical musical taste but we overlapped quite a bit. Among our mutual favorites were The Smiths and Talking Heads, among others. 

Marc - here is a song for you. I will miss you every bit as much as I would, had I been lucky enough to hug you tightly. Rest peacefully, dear friend. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012


To kickoff the new blog banner, I'd like to introduce you to Ophelia by John Everett Millais

Get thee to a nunn'ry, why woulds't thou be a breeder of
~ Hamlet

Tate Britain, London

"There's rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies, that's for thoughts," said Ophelia to her brother Laertes. "There's fennel for you, and columbines. There's rue for you, and here's some for me; we may call it herb of grace o' Sundays. O, you must wear your rue with a difference. There's a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died."

Excerpt from Hamlet


 Drowned! O, where?

Queen Gertrude:

There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them:
There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up:
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes;
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element: but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.
- Queen Gertrude.
Hamlet. Act IV, Scene VII.

Here is one:

In the 20th century, Salvador Dalí emerged as a surprise champion of the picture:
“How could Salvador Dalí fail to be dazzled by the flagrant surrealism of English Pre-Raphaelitism,” wrote the great surrealist in an article published in a 1936 journal, alongside a reproduction of Ophelia.
“The Pre-Raphaelite painters bring us radiant women who are, at the same time, the most desirable and most frightening that exist.”
~ Salvador Dali



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