Sunday, February 9, 2014

Farewell to Art

We said goodbye to Art White, a sweet man, on Saturday, at a lovely service with New Covenant Community at the Campus Religious Center in Normal. He died at home on Tuesday, in hospice care. It was good to hear his family, friends, and colleagues speak of him--with laughter and tears. He was "a peach of a man," a thinker, a seeker, and, later in life, a poet! He wrote his first poem in a poetry workshop of mine, and I got to read it at his service, along with one of his favorites, "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening," by Robert Frost. Art used to call me up and recite "Stopping by Woods" to me, or to my phone machine if I wasn't home. "And miles to go before I sleep." No more miles to go.

At the service, we learned that Art drank Scotch with some friends, bourbon with others, and sometimes martinis, which reminded me that he had taken me out for a martini once! Wooee! (It's a little odd to forget a martini date...  Or is it?) And with some pals he drank coffee or tea. I held hands with my dad (bourbon) during part of the service, and then he went up and spoke, too. Art hired my dad at Illinois State University. The whole past washed over us yesterday....and again today in church, on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles, when Russ the pianist played "Yesterday." Sigh....

The past washed over me in various ways this weekend. I judged individual events and performance-in-the-round at a regional speech tournament, and I was on speech team back in high school. My mom was my speech coach! What sweetness, joy, talent, and intelligence I saw in these young performers!

Meanwhile, my husband had taken his team of 7th graders to a volleyball tournament up north. I'd had a chance to see them play Thursday and Friday. More joy, talent, and spirit!

And, to make it a Random Coinciday in the blog, I received the next theatre review from Scott Klavan in New York this weekend, and posted it tonight at Escape Into Life. Scott reviews Bronx Bombers at Circle in the Square, a baseball dream play, and his review is also a thoughtful essay on sports vs. theatre in terms of 1) the human condition 2) commercial success. I like the background idea that being braver about the human condition might actually lead to greater commercial success.

These crows belong to John Wentz, the wonderful artist who also accompanies the theatre review at Escape Into Life.


Marcoantonio Arellano said...

i'm sure his spirit captured your reciting Robert Frost and his poem.

gracias for sharing this intimate setting

RIP to your amigo

Collagemama said...

Thank you for sharing Art.

Kathleen said...

Thank you for your kind thoughts.

seana graham said...

Thanks for the post about an important person in your family's life and thanks for the crows. I'm a crow fan, though not everybody is.

Kathleen said...

Thank you, Seana.

I think of crows as birds who know their own power.