A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Paul's Puppets

I took a picture of these marionettes in the window of an Antwerp toy store with my cousin's main squeeze, Paul Gauthier, in mind. Paul's not only a musician, but a talented artist whose specialty is marionettes. Because of his interest, I've sought out marionettes in my travels for several years now. He's always been fascinated by the photographs and brochures I bring back, which have led to interesting discussions on the regional variations in their design and decoration. Thanks to Paul, I've become sensitive to a whole universe which would have been otherwise overlooked and invisible to me.

So I was shocked and saddened to learn upon my return that Paul had died just a day before I snapped this picture. He had gone fishing in the morning, came home feeling a little unwell, and a few hours later had a massive heart attack, from which he did not recover.

There will be no wake, no funeral. He would have hated that. His body has already been cremated. One day this summer, we'll all go to one of his haunts, probably in Monson, for a little celebration of his life. Scatter his ashes over one of the lakes where he used to fish. Paul was part American Indian, and knew those places as intimately as any of his forebears ever did.

I'll never look at a fish, or a frog, or a salamander, or a piece of quartz or garnet chipped from a local cave without thinking of Paul. Or listen to a bass guitar. Or look at a marionette. Rest in peace, sweet and gentle spirit.

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