Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gather Up the Fragments

It's Thor's Day in the blog, with actual thunder as I write, but also another mosaic-of-labels day, where you'll find a link to an obituary and links to some poems on death and grief, as well as a reflection on John 6:1-13, on gathering up the fragments to feed the multitudes (aka the story of the loaves and fishes*).

*Or, in this case, the Blueberries and Raspberries, by Jonathan Koch.

I've been eating plenty of blueberries lately, on yogurt, or with strawberries and cantaloupe, or yogurt with granola, very little meat, as much fish (see above) as possible, etc. Because I do not want to die.

An acting buddy died Tuesday, suddenly, and young, or young at heart. His obituary says he was 65. I think our last deep, extended conversation was about such things--he was philosophical about life and death, very calm and at peace--and I recalled him saying that when his obituary was published, no one would know who he was because we know him as Michael Pullin and the paper would print Thomas Pullin, as it did. But we all know who he is.

What a funny, energetic, talented man he was. He was my husband in the play Dinner With Friends, at Heartland Theatre, and my fantasy lover in the play, A History of Things that Never Happened. We cracked ourselves up in the latter, re-enacting scenes from Wuthering Heights and Anna Karenina.

And, of course, there's the butcher block moment in Dinner With Friends. What a good sport. And an actual gourmet cook, very pertinent to this play, who taught cooking classes in town! I am only one of the many, many people who will miss him.

How do the living handle these losses? So many ways. There will be a celebration of Michael Pullin's life on Saturday, and I'm sure it will have plenty of laughter with the tears, as he would want to be remembered with joy and a sense of fun.

For those who ponder death and grief with the aid of poetry, here are two unsentimental poems that handle these dark topics well:

"How I Will Outwit Grief," by Donna Vorreyer, in The Bakery (Fresh Out of the Oven)


"When He's Dead," by Mike Puican, in The Cortland Review.

Now I offer you some Strawberries and Cream (hold the cream). Or plenty of loaves and fishes.

P.S.  And, speaking of fragments, here are the Fragments at qarrtsiluni!


Susan said...

Very sorry to hear about Michael - you two were such fun to watch on stage. A blessing to go quickly but so hard for those left behind.

Kathleen said...

Thank you, Susan. And I will miss him in the annual cemetery walk, but I will feel him there. (Though he'll be buried in a different cemetery.)

Collagemama said...

Sad for your loss. It reminds me of a long lost actor friend and inspiration.

Kathleen said...

Thanks, dear. Still stunned. More and more, I understand that weddings and funerals (or visitations and memorial services) are for the survivors. Hmm, what does that say about weddings? (Michael would have smiled aslant at that.)

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear this news. It has been a year of sharp shocks and sudden sorrows for too many people. And yet, (I won't say but), I hope the poetry, music and the memories that his friends can share will make it bearable. (As always, you pick the perfect words, poems, and pictures, to express these things.) Wishing you all the best,


Kathleen said...

Thanks, Bob.

seana said...

I love the picture and I bet he would too.

Carol said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. I love Donna's poem--so beautiful.

Kathleen said...

Thanks for all the goodwill. I will carry it into the service on Saturday.

Hannah Stephenson said...

Sad to hear about the loss of your buddy. So sorry for you, his friends, and family.

Beautiful poems you've shared.

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Hannah, and congrats on your good news.

Judy Brown said...

Kathleen, your blog entry about Michael and the poems you referred your readers to, should remind everyone of the power of words. Michael was so aware of the ability of words and images to transport the reader and the hearer to the emotions underlying them. Thank you.

Kathleen said...

Thank you, Judy. Lovely service yesterday, mentioned again in service today, across the street!