Page 29 - Litteratteur Redefining World December issue
P. 29

Litterateur redefining world                      December 2020



          On June 27, 2016 Adelle died as a result of
          stomach cancer. It was a terrible blow and
          I  might  have  gone  on  for  years  grieving   SANGYE
          and  bursting  into  tears  on  a  daily  basis
          had  I  not  met  an  extraordinary  young
          woman: Sangye Land.

                                                That arose in magic

                                                     I think grief might be defined as the simultaneous

                                                     absence and presence of the loved one. To some
                                                     extent we feel this with anyone who is not around,
                                                     but  the  stunning  fact  of  death  intensifies  the
                                                     feeling beyond belief. We don't "get over" grief: we
                                                     subsume it, it becomes a part of us.Death as a life-
                                                     changing  event!    I  felt  that  Adelle's  death  turned
                                                     me--no  matter  how  much  joy  and  laughter  I  have
                                                     left--into  a  man  of  sorrow.  That,  I  think,  is  really
                                                     what  Coleridge's  "Ancient  Mariner"  is  about.  The
                                                     "moral"  at  the  end--"He  prayeth  best  who  loveth
                                                     best"--is  just  icing  on  the  cake  for  19th-century
                                                     readers. It's really about the stain of death.
                       Jack and Sangye
             I  met  Sangye  Land,  daughter  of  poet  Julie  Rogers,  stepdaughter  of  poet  David
             Meltzer,  on  December  28,  2016.  I  came  to  the  house  Sangye  and  Julie  shared  with
             David to pay my respects to my old friend, who was on his deathbed. I wanted to say
             goodbye and to tell him what I would say about him after his death--which I did. The
             full weight of grief was still upon me and I appeared with that dark shadow hanging
             over  me.  I  hardly  expected  to  fall  in  love,  but  that  is  what  happened.  I  had  seen
             Sangye  once  before--at  a  distance--and  thought  her  astonishingly  beautiful.  Today,
             her  mother  was  grieving  and  less  visible,  and  Sangye,  though  grieving  also,  was
             greeting visitors and escorting them in to see David. I had come to the house with my
             friend  Carl  Landauer,  and  there  were  several  people  there.  As  I  entered,  Sangye
             walked  over  to  me,  hand  extended,  and  said,  "I  don't  believe  I  know  you."  I  was
             stunned. What do you say when a beautiful woman indicates that she would like to
             know you? You tell her about yourself, you ask about her. As I waited, and as she
             rose  to  greet  people,  Sangye  and  I  spoke.  I  don't  remember  exactly  what  we  said--
             though  I  recall  something  about  Yeats  (I  was  surprised  to  discover  that  she  hadn't
             read him), about her interest in the Irish, about a poem of David's that was a mutual
             favorite ("I love that poem!" she said), and about Italians who pinch. But the words

             were all like music accompanying a scene that goes beyond words. I was certainly
             falling in love but the situation seemed utterly impossible: she was far too young. I
             was not even very clear about her name, which I had never heard before. It was some
             time later, through Facebook, that I discovered how to spell it. (It means "Buddha" in
             Tibetan:  like  some  of  my  heroes--Allen  Ginsberg,  for  example--she  is  Tibetan
             Buddhist.)





                                                                                                         29
   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34