Epitaphs for Arthur
Endless is the dance
Rivers snaking to the sea
Arthur's seamless soul
Too close to the heart
Like race, death is false
We will always be mirrored
in each others faces
I, for one, am a better person for having known Arthur Hall. As a dancer he helped me tap into potential I never even realized I had. I became passionate about it. I wanted to bring him gifts. I remember I never could wait to see his reaction with each new costume I finished for our Miss D production! Even before I read anything about all his awesome accomplishments, I knew I was in the presence of greatness. He was every inch a king.
One birthday I gave him a big Aztec calendar belt buckle with the symbol of the sun in the center sticking its tongue out just the way he would do when we weren't getting our technique right, saying "What a mess, " much to our irrepressible laughter. What I had found, I told him, was the god of "What A Mess." The talisman didn't reduce the incidence of mistakes. We did continue, however, to be able to laugh at ourselves.
I looked at my August calendar today - "Arthur" written across every Tuesday and Thursday. According to this, he's still on. It's beginning to sink in.
Besides dancing in his productions, I will so miss his summer workshop stint at the Belfast Dance Studio every year. Last year when August came around I remember I was embarrassed to go back to his classes because I hadn't been dancing for a while and felt a little insecure about my ability and appearance. Remembering we are more forgiving of others than we are of ourselves, I went up to Arthur to give him the big hug and kiss he had coyly been waiting for since I walked in. Sensing my self-consciousness and reading my mind, he grinned compassionately saying, "Well, you look good to me!" It was uncanny and the last thing he ever said to me.
I had envisioned us all still dancing together well into his old age. This is not to say he won't be there.
I found this quote and I think of him:
All that is beautiful is also humble. The proud swans must bend their heads to feed. The oak loses its finery for the winter storms. Clouds weep when they become too abundant and grand. So the aspiring angel must bend to that which is greater, yet remain standing and strong through the cold wind of earth life. In nature we see our reflection and within every image we are reminded to be ever humble.
From Angel VoicesOutside after Adam's funeral as we were all leaving I blurted out, "I love you, Arthur!" and if by that unusual outburst I ever thought I may have embarrassed myself, I am so grateful now I did that, that the moment was not lost forever, but will echo through all eternity.
The Advanced Handbook for Aspiring Angels
By Karen Goldman
In loving memory,
From: "veronica" firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Epitaphs for Arthur
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000
See also Veronica's Marking the Tree of Life - In Memory of Adam Perry Smith