Saturday, February 25, 2012

In memory of Stephanie Spar

Stephanie Spar was a Seattle architect.  We met via as she and I both had lung cancer.  She attended the cancer grace fundraiser we threw a year and a half ago and met several times thereafter.

She died recently.  I am so sad, because she was a great comfort, but I am all the better for having known her.  One of her friends read the following poem at her memorial service/dinner (she was a great gourmand), and I felt it worth posting:


That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying

I went closer,
and I did not die,
Surely God
had His hand in this,

as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,

was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel
(brave even among lions),
"It's not the weight you carry

but how you carry it -
books, bricks, grief -
it's all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot, and would not,
put it down."
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?

Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled-
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love

to which there is no reply?

~~ Mary Oliver

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