It was 1989 or 1990. I was new in Seattle and had moved from New York to live with John. Christine was a part of the Option group we had formed that year. The Christine I knew was so real and transparent, I felt at ease with her the first day we met. The richness of our sharing filled an enormous longing in me – a longing to know and share my life with someone warm and kind and generous of spirit. I remember our Journal evenings – her openness to learning - always curious - the conversations we had about the many kinds of love, our personal stories. I remember her voice singing along like a creek bubbling in a bright glade. I remember beautiful gracious gatherings: the dining room where everyone was welcome, the lights and beautiful, playful arrangements that spoke to the child in me and all of us. I loved her books that spoke to so many parts of me. I saw how deeply she loved Dennis, her parents and family and each one of the children for the unique spirit they expressed. Her love for them grew them into the beautiful plants they are today. This poem by James Haba seems a lovely tribute to her amazing way of showing people her love:
You have been traveling
I can see it in your eyes -
the unknown roads demanding new belief
The light of your will in submission
to the pattern bringing us together.
I have been busy waiting
putting fresh flowers on the table
filling the lamps with kerosene
arranging (as well as I could)
everything so that you might feel
that you had arrived
at the right place
at the right time.
I am so glad that you could come.
And in honor of our being here together
Let us make a scratch on the wall of the cave.
We could talk.
We could begin with idle chatter
I'll say, "I love you.
James Haba (from Ten Love Poems
Anthologized by Robert Bly)
I grieved deeply when she and the family left Seattle concerned that our relationship and time together would be broken. But when we came to visit in Arizona, we felt so welcomed and cared for and had time to share the beauty of the desert: the birds, the plants, the light in the sky.
I see more now how she taught all of us to love nature and to follow a deep knowing inside and the importance of letting go. I don’t know how she managed to be both a deep well and a creek bubbling along - brightening everyone’s lives caring for us all. She was a mystery to me and a great gift. I remember a walk we took together through the Arboretum one day in Seattle. Something that day resonates in me about the depth of her being and the timelessness of our relationship which I will carry forever.
This last month in the Heraklion Museum in Crete I saw a wonderful sculpture in the Cycladic Museum in Athens called Star Gazer. I will include a photo of it here as a tribute to Christine; her stance was most often as if she were ascending - her feel poised lifting off the earth. She lived so lightly even while creating such beauty and love on the earth. How perfect the Cycladic figures are to express her spirit - a most beautiful being. I’ll send you one of them as well. These are 5,000 year old and made from marble.
I grieve that I cannot be there with all of you, and I feel so honored to be invited. I am, of all things, teaching an Intensive Journal workshop that weekend and will dedicate my weekend to her. She will be remembered with love. Love from carol, Dave, Dana, Charles and Kestrel.