A Life Well Lived   Leave a comment

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Jack’s Song

by Lillian Soderman

He’s gone to a place

I don’t know

I still believe he’s here.

Now I listen for

whispers in the wind,

He speaks through the

sea of leaves,

a language he always spoke.

Now the hawks are circling

and blue-eyed crows are visiting

To bring him home

To bring him home

To bring him home

31 July, 2011 Jack’s friends, Clayton Norman and Colin, came by to see me before leaving for a visit to Gemini Farm in Las Trampas, New Mexico.  During the visit, Clayton, who once interned with Patch Adams, told me he had written Patch Adams a letter.  In the letter, he wrote of Jack’s death.  Patch Adams wrote back to Clayton and included this poem.  He thought Jack was sending this poem to Clayton.
Since Jack’s death, I have had this sense of living my life with more intensity than before. Hopefully, with the pure force, Neruda describes in this poem.

If I Die

If I die, survive me with such sheer force
that you awaken the furies of the pallid and the cold,
from south to south lift your indelible eyes,
from sun to sun dream through your singing mouth.
I don’t want your laughter or your steps to waver,
I don’t want my heritage of joy to die.
Don’t call up my person. I am absent.
Live in my absence as if in a house.
Absence is a house so vast
that inside you will pass through its walls
and hang pictures on the air
Absence is a house so transparent
that I, lifeless, will see you, living,
and if you suffer, my love, I will die again.

Pablo Neruda

Leslie wrote out this poem for me in a letter, stating it was one of Jack’s favorites.  This poem reflects Jack’s spirit. I like it for its strong movement. “we tear like a rapid dream”.  Jack’s time here seems like a rapid dream.  The poem includes wild horses which “rush like the rain”.  Jack had such a special relationship with horses.


I’d like, above all, to be one of those
who drive with wild black horses through the night,
torches like hair uplifted in affright
when the great wind of their wild hunting blows.
I’d like to stand in front as in a boat,
tall, like a long floating flag unrolled.
And dark, but with a helmet made of gold,
restlessly flashing.  And behind to ride
ten other looming figures side by side,
with helmets all unstable like my own,
now clear like glass, now old and blank like stone.
And one to stand by me and blow us space
with the brass trumpet that can blaze and blare,
blowing a black solitude through which we tear
like dreams that speed too fast to leave a trace.
Houses behind us fall upon their knees,
alleys cringe crookedly before our train,
squares break in flight: we summon and we seize:
we ride, and our great horses rush like rain.

Rainer Maria Rilke
translated from the German
by J. B. Leishma

Pearl Rasmussen, Astoria, Oregon, the creator of Pearl’s bowl of Goodness, works her magic again with this animation featuring Jack as one of the characters. You can’t miss him!  The music is the Dovekins.

Posted April 23, 2011 by anniespence in Uncategorized

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