Log in

No account? Create an account
see Entries to Friends consult Calendar see My Info Chris' Memorial Site Previous Previous Next Next
For International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day 2008 - In the Shadow of Leaves
Dappled in light & dark; a place to watch from, think, write, make & show images
For International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day 2008
A link to its netplace, and a posting on this journal of the text of a eulogy for my late better half.
Thank you all -- or ‘grazie’ as Chris would say -- for gathering here today to remember Christopher's life, appreciate his achievements & mourn his loss.

We usually hear here that no man is an island, but for Chris I'd rather draw out a much older metaphor & its current reflections. There are old stories indeed of the spirits who governed human fates, spinning each life thread, interweaving it with others & finally cutting it off. “The rich tapestry of life”, “the web of life”, “it takes all kinds”, are all cliches now, but they expressed a deep & ancient truth sustaining all life & human society. In these unpoetic times perhaps the word would be “biodiversity”.

These all say that we shouldn't be seduced by the big bright eye-catching distractions -- the gorgeously coloured & figured cloth gets its strength from the hidden warp & is held together by finer inconspicuous weft threads. The grandest forest tree or flaunting flower meadow; carolling fine-plumed birds on sunlit branches; the furry cute or sleeker beasts, could not exist, would not continue, without the soil fungus & creepy-crawlies, the lowly groundcovers & understorey shrubs, the buzzing bothering insects & more modest animals.
It's obvious that glittering, fluttering, spotlit celebrities & strutting executive officers depend absolutely on their circling hierarchy of underlings. It takes longer to appreciate not just the necessary interdependence* of the underpinnings of civilization's edifice but how each is supported** by a net of barely-thought-of functions.

From his law & engineering training, from long practice with computer networks, and many, many bush & sailing experiences, Chris had a feel for the great dance of balances that creates an apparently-serene equilibrium. He contributed through his work in Canberra, at Prospect County Council/Integral Energy & the NSW Fire Brigades, outside work in GROW & through his letters, talkback & online forums, his quiet charities & personal generosities towards those grand human endeavours: to give merited respect to all the kinds & conditions of people so us humans can at least rub along together; likewise, to show respect for the non-human biosphere so we can have long-term mutual survival in Australia & beyond.

But now the shears have closed, his thread snapped; our tapestry from now weaker by the pinch of starstuff that's in a man; the sea which refuses no river has accepted it back.

So now a farewell from another second-millennium man, one who wrote plays that like life itself defy categorization, who knew man & nature, encompassing many:

Fear no more the heat o' th' sun
Nor the furious winter's rages
Thou thy worldly task hast done
Home art gone and ta'en thy wages
Golden lads and girls all must
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust
Thank you again.

*Example: Fire Department depends on good roads, reliable water, other suppliers, etc.
**Example: Firefighters supported by maintenance, communications, pay-roll, etc.
April 12, 2002

Tags: , , ,

add your Comment