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July 11, 1998
a year ago


Quiet day, on the most part, other than worrying about exactly what I was going to say tomorrow. Mostly just wandered through the day with a notepad and my Namiki Vanishing Point pen and writing down thoughts about how I should say what I needed to say. Wrote about five pages, crossed out three.

Breakfast was just poached eggs and toasted crumpets. I love poached eggs because I can tell exactly how done or raw they are by just touching them, there's no oil involved and I just get egg. Yum. The techniques video also made them really easy to make and just a touch of vinegar made the egg whites stay together really well.

The list of dones included going to see Small Solders, wandering about the mall sniffing essential oils and having dinner at a little Mediterranean restaurant named Gibraltar that was better to forget.

The night before we stopped at The Fishin' Place in Redmond and got stuff as they'd just re-opened with a menu that was more complete. The old format was to have a lot of different kinds of seafood and lots of different kinds of ways they could be prepared and you had to pick from column A, pair with Column B and then add a side dish and never really see what it would look like until everything was done. Now, they have it all pre-packed and you can just grab things and go. Much easier, much less confusing and it's much more fun to just sight shop.

So that was dinner, Friday night, and we mostly just collapsed as I was so completely tired.

I also got some parchment paper from a kitchen store in the mall and decided to try and make lady fingers sometime during the weekend. They turned out really, really flat. I may have to find the usual pans for 'em instead of just laying 'em out like cookies. I also baked some of the batter into a rectangular pan and that may work out even better. We'll see if I can actually cut 'em.

The root beer has been a bit disappointing, the champagne yeast didn't take very well, so it's just flat and sad. We may have to just dump all the contents back into the pot, reheat it, and then dissolve a more robust yeast into it and have it carbonate the stuff. More work, but it'll be fun.

After dinner, we went home and I did the polishing touches on my little talk the next day. Knowing how my brain works, I drank a Hansen's D*STRESS fifteen minutes before going to bed, and was, thank everything, deep asleep before eleven.

That's really funny and kind of sad, too. Trying to remember the day, I completely ignored/forgot the fact that we went to Jim Ricky's memorial in the early afternoon.

Memorials are good. Ways to remember the person who has died. Gone. To remember what has been lost and to keep it in ones head, to know the person, perhaps better than they let themselves be known before death. Such an odd intimacy. To be told stories, and memories and thoughts and feelings by various people and to mourn. To grieve and let go.

A process and ceremony to mark the moment, to believe that, perhaps, when I die that people will remember me in such a way, with such fondness and such fullness of grace. So many remembering him so well. He was a great guy. And the stories were wonderful, complex, complete stories, good and bad, funny and sad, interesting and complex with a fullness of what he as a human being was. Not all of it, certainly, could be caught in an hour, but the stories told there have triggered others as well.

Also a ceremony to remember and then let go. To go on. That may be just as important as the other. To mark this place and time as 'Now we let go, now we say good-bye, now we let him go on to the next plane.' That was important as well, I think.

I no longer think I am untouched.

I cried my heart out, during the last hymn. Shared grief is, perhaps easier. Especially in a setting that encourages the expression of the emotions and needs. An allowance for being human, being frail, being of the moment. What was greatest was the understanding everyone had for Jim's reasons for choosing to go on, for a suicide that I know in my old Baptist and Catholic churches he would have been condemned for rather than simply sorrowed for. There were plenty of speakers who spoke openly of how he chose to die and why and the compassion was there as was the grief and loss and anger.

Those who mourn will be comforted. I think the expression has helped everyone, and the openness may help others more. The things other churches would have shunned may well be an opening for this church to learn and grow and gives its compassion for those that need it.

It's what I hope most to be able to accomplish.

It's also what I fear most that I will not be able to trigger or help happen.

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