This was written three weeks ago... I delayed getting it posted...
Harry has indeed graduated, throw your cap dear one, throw your cap!
“Make some music, drink a toast, he’s about to graduate” she said.
I love the metaphor of graduation. Our culture calls it death, or passing away. Solemn and sad words for such a joyous life and brilliant man.
The definition of a graduate is a person who has received an academic degree or diploma. Not only does Harry have several of those physical items to prove his intelligence and achievements, he truly is going to graduate.
He does not believe in heaven or hell, he does not buy into any dogma that tells him what comes next. But those of us who know him and love him, know that he is about to receive a degree in higher education. He wouldn’t settle for anything less than another learning experience.
This is a man who challenged his religion, his government, his family. He went to Cuba to work side by side with farm laborers. He worked in the inner circle with Martin Luther King Jr. He traveled to Spain not to learn Spanish, but to become bi-lingual. South America and Russia were part of his journeys of inquiry and learning. He never stopped learning and writing and teaching… never. Not even in the face of his cancer and his paralysis did he ever stop learning, and teaching. So how could anyone say the word ‘die’ in the same sentence with his name?
Weepie when we heard the fast decline, then celebratory that we shared with him a deeper heart than most.
Our true ‘anam cara’. So many people only dream of such a rich connection to another soul, we are grateful for the opportunity to experience that with Harry. He understood passion, and commitment, creativity and the muse. He spoke in terms of truth and love, and while always trying to change the world with words, he was willing to hold the placard and march. A hero in the true sense of the word, because there are few who put their deeds where their mouths are. Few who are brave enough to take on the status quo and fear not. Few whose mind and intellect could outwit with love the way he could.
And so the final weeks of this tour, we will sing for him. We will raise a glass for him. We will burn sweetgrass and celebrate his graduation. We are not beside his bed, but we walk the halls of learning that he created for us. We will engage our minds and hearts as he showed us how to do. We will question and work and teach and create in his honor… and that is where he would have us be.