A Passing

A very good friend of mine from way back in college days in the mid 60s died yesterday. He was, rightfully quite famous as an artist and one of those people who can honestly be said to have been world famous.
My heart is heavy. There are a lot of people whose hearts are broken today, and they should feel that way. He is truly a great loss to all of us who knew him and for thousands of those who only knew him through his art.
Now, I’ll probably take some shit for this, but as I was sitting out on my front porch trying to catch what ever wisp of errant breeze would drift my way in the hot Panamanian afternoon I looked at the huge mango and avocado trees interspersed with palms on the other side of the vacant lot opposite my house and realized that through our pain and grief the sun came up in the east as it has done for hundreds of million years before now and it will set in the west for hundreds of millions more, and the world will not notice our arrival or departure. It happens to each one of us. It is the price we pay for spending a speck of time here.
After visiting an aging former captain he’d served under Joseph Conrad wrote in his autobiography, The Mirror of the Sea “. . .and I observed his weary eyes gaze steadily ahead, as if there had been nothing between him and the straight line of sea and sky, where whatever a seaman is looking for is bound to appear. . .Was he looking for a strange Landfall, or taking with an untroubled mind the bearings for his last Departure.
It is hard to say; for in that voyage from which no man returns Landfall and Departure are instantaneous, merging together into one moment of supreme and final attention.” —
And finally, Skip…


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2 responses to “A Passing

  1. So sorry for your loss Richard. It’s hard indeed, to lose an old, and good, friend. May your memories of him keep,you sustained – just for having known him for so long, and with so much pleasure.
    Best – Wendy

    Thank you.

  2. Sorry to hear about your friend. The whole world may not notice, but the part that holds the people he touched sure notice.

    Skip was an American Original. One of a kind for sure, and with one possible exception he’s the only friend I’ve had in my life who got an obit in the New York Times…Not going to jinx things by who the other person might possibly be by mentioning their name…