Ruth Stone's obituary in the New York Times. She died at 96, so she had a good (I hope) long life, though filled with sorrow and struggle. A poet's life.
I read her book In the Next Galaxy last year and will seek out her others, gradually, if I can bear it. The obituary quotes from a couple of the poems about her husband's suicide, and here's another set of lines: "What is imperative is the Off switch; / which he, at one point some time ago, / opted for himself." She opted to live, and to write, and I am glad of it, but now the Off switch has been flicked for her.
Lynn Margulis, a favorite of mine. She was a trailblazer in evolution-ary theory, proposing symbiosis as one path to new life forms, not just random mutation. She allows for a kind of altruism as the basis of life, not just selfish survival, as evolution is so often interpreted, and her definition of "altruism" is, likewise, not the selfish conventional one in biology, which reduces it. That is, to preserve life itself, Margulis suggested, two organisms may share materials and give up their own lives, which is different in essence from those who say the organism is simply desperately trying to save itself and randomly produces something new. Since, in both cases, this is an unthinking intention, as far as we know, someone might say it is just two ways of seeing/stating the same thing. Fine. But they are importantly different ways of seeing/stating, with ramifications beyond biology, and Margulis's own research provided evidence at first rejected, now accepted in mainstream evolutionary theory.
And one more recent loss: Shelagh Delaney, the author of the play A Taste of Honey. I am thankful that these women lived and wrote, teaching us what to value and how to live, which, as always, is why I read.
And thanks, again, to Jonathan Koch, for the persimmons, pears, and mandarin.