November is a time of remembrance and change. Tonight we lit a beautiful fire in our fireplace. I gave Judy a “fire back” with a ship on it last Christmas, fitting that we live on the Captain’s Mile of historical homes in Yarmouth Port.
On All Souls Day we explored Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge.
My writing mentor and friend, Kathleen Spivack, asked us to drive her to a place she has sorely missed because of ill health. We put her walker in the car and found a sacred place to rest and take in the beauty.
Kathleen awakens the artist for all those privileged to have studied with her. She has nurtured and empowered me for over ten years in writing, “Coming Alive.” “What is your next writing project?” she asks. “Send me your ideas.”
A hawk posed for pictures following us as we walked around the pond. Everywhere we turned we absorbed the intensity of color and the serenity of the natural world.
The next morning Judy and I returned to Mt. Auburn and found the graves of Longfellow and Julia Ward Howe.
God forgive me if I do wrong in following with ardor the strongest instincts of my nature.
– Julia Ward Howe
Friendship: the Color of Human Nature
Think where man’s (woman’s) glory
Most begins and ends
And say my glory was
That I had such friends.
― William Butler Yeats
Pavia gifted us with her beautiful voice and unforgettable presence this month. She performed French cabaret songs with accordion entrancing our neighbors, friends of Healthsigns, and visitors June and Jeanette from my “Mes Amies” group who we met on a trip to Brittany/Normandie and keep in touch through Zoom.
The Color of Loss & Memory
This week I lost a friend, a “mother” we needed in the early days on Cape Cod, an LGBTQ “ally” in changing perceptions and making Cape Cod a safer and more inclusive community.
When I met Pem Schultz in the early 1990s she headed PFLAG along with Doris providing support to individuals and families all over the Cape. They both had raised gay daughters.
Eventually we worked together in WCCC – Cape Cod Coalition of Welcoming Congregations opening the way for inclusion and understanding of LGBTQ persons. Over the next ten years we gathered in congregations all over the Cape to nurture dialogue, to grow in friendship and to create actions.
Pem was a woman of faith, influenced by her uncle, an Episcopal Bishop who had hopes for her to enter the ministry but it was hard for women to do so at that time. She married a Lutheran pastor and was active at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church helping them become a “Reconciling in Christ” community. This weekend I attended St. Peter’s fair and felt Pem’s presence when I saw the rainbow flag flying in front of the church she loved.
It is people like Pem who affirm my faith in Martin Luther King’s words: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
She attended many Healthsigns Taize services and our Monasteries of the Heart group. Pem remained committed to the cause at times even intimidating me with her will to keep things moving ahead.
Every year on our anniversary she never forgot us:
“Sending love to two very special souls still in my life…How wonderful. Gratefully, Pem.”
We’ll never forget you Pem. Storm the heavens!