Page 33 - Jack Foley | The true litterateur
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On  June  27,  2016  Adelle  died  as  a  result  of  stomach
              cancer. It was a terrible blow and I might have gone on          SANGYE
              for years grieving and bursting into tears on a daily basis
              had  I  not  met  an  extraordinary  young  woman:  Sangye
              Land.

                                               That arose in magic



                I think grief might be defined as the simultaneous absence and presence of
                the loved one. To some extent we feel this with anyone who is not around, but
                the stunning fact of death intensifies the feeling beyond belief. We don't "get
                over" grief: we subsume it, it becomes a part of us.Death as a life-changing
                event!    I  felt  that  Adelle's  death  turned  me--no  matter  how  much  joy  and
                laughter  I  have  left--into  a  man  of  sorrow.  That,  I  think,  is  really  what
                Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner" is about. The "moral" at the end--"He prayeth
                best who loveth best"--is just icing on the cake for 19th-century readers. It's
                really about the stain of death.
                I met Sangye Land, daughter of poet Julie Rogers, stepdaughter of poet David

                Meltzer, on December 28, 2016. I came to the house Sangye and Julie shared
                with David to pay my respects to my old friend, who was on his deathbed. I
                wanted to say goodbye and to tell him what I would say about him after his
                death--which I did. The full weight of grief was still upon me and I appeared
                with that dark shadow hanging over me. I hardly expected to fall in love, but
                that  is  what  happened.  I  had  seen  Sangye  once  before--at  a  distance--and
                thought her astonishingly beautiful. Today, her mother was grieving and less
                visible, and Sangye, though grieving also, was greeting visitors and escorting
                them in to see David. I had come to the house with my friend Carl Landauer,
                and there were several people there. As I entered, Sangye walked over to me,
                hand extended, and said, "I don't believe I know you." I was stunned. What do
                you say when a beautiful woman indicates that she would like to know you?
                You tell her about yourself, you ask about her. As I waited, and as she rose to
                greet  people,  Sangye  and  I  spoke.  I  don't  remember  exactly  what  we  said--
                though I recall something about Yeats (I was surprised to discover that she
                hadn't read him), about her interest in the Irish, about a poem of David's that
                was a mutual favorite ("I love that poem!" she said), and about Italians who
                pinch.  But  the  words  were  all  like  music  accompanying  a  scene  that  goes

                beyond words. I was certainly falling in love but the situation seemed utterly
                impossible: she was far too young. I was not even very clear about her name,
                which  I  had  never  heard  before.  It  was  some  time  later,  through  Facebook,
                that I discovered how to spell it. (It means "Buddha" in Tibetan: like some of
                my heroes--Allen Ginsberg, for example--she is Tibetan Buddhist.)

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