For Chris Toll

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Today I learned from the life of a poet who has died.  He once accepted a poem of mine and wrote to tell me, saying, "I have a ghost girl living in my mind."  (The poem has a ghost girl.)  We exchanged maybe eight emails, and in one he asked how I'd fared in Hurricane Irene and we talked about downed trees.  I like a person who can ask how you fared in Hurricane Irene and who can tell you he has a ghost girl living in his mind.  It means, "I am not afraid to be a human being." 

Another thing he wrote me was, "In Art, I like to go fast." 

Reading about him and re-reading our emails, what came into my mind was, "I'm just going to have to embrace my weirdness.  It's the only way." 

The night before he died, he wrote this in an email to R.M. O'Brien:

i know i’m nobody – i’m a snowflake and i’m drifting toward a bonfire – i know this well – i’m getting hot.
everything we do at every moment is critically important – every deed at every moment in every day should be a living prayer – if we pray hard enough, we will have a New World – and we will have it sooner rather than later.

Thank you, Chris.  And good journey. 

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