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Summer of Love

Twenty-two years ago today my life veered in a profoundly unexpected direction. Not that I wasn't known for curveballs and risky business, but this turned into the adventure of my life, for this was the day I met Jonathan (ajrose93). Not that I believed in love at first sight, so let's call it "love at first conversation." And a brilliant and intense and wonderful and endless conversation it continued to be; that is, until the wee hours of May 10 last when Jonathan moved from my arms into the kisses of Nu.

He had been sick for a long time, beaten down by the harshness of the life he had chosen and its paltry rewards, by the lack of recognition even among those he called "brother," by the bitterness he felt seeing his beloved country so tarnished, by personal circumstances that ultimately burdened him beyond endurance. He always projected a sunny persona, and continued to do so to friends and family alike. But he was in reality a tender soul and easily wounded. A very private person, he kept his illness a secret, as did I. He had healed the sick and raised the dead but, like so many prophets before him, he could not come down from his own cross.

Those who remember him know he was pervasively knowledgeable, blisteringly insightful, unfailingly friendly, and gracious to a fault, which is not necessarily easy, as everyone knows, in his chosen field of endeavor. I have never known anyone so consistently interesting, who said things I never thought of, who always dared me to be my best, who was supportive but never coddling, funny but never cruel and, above all, challenging. Damn that First House Pluto! He could sing instant counterpoint or compose verse on the fly. He was also a wonderful cartoonist who once drew me an entire tarot deck. I was, and remain, the luckiest woman in the world.

Now all that beautiful energy is off doing something else, doubtless something defiant, mischievous, brilliant, brave and, I hope, joyous. It's just selfish of me to want more, but he belongs to the Aeon now.

Jonathan did not finish his latest tome, In The Nightmare Village. That is a task I shall have to figure out. He was about 2/3 done, which would bring the Cycle to a good stopping point, though not as thoroughly or as far into the future as he had hoped. He left many and extensive notes and plans for upcoming diverse works as well that now we shall never see. He always bugged me to write, which I resisted, but he will now be getting his way. I wish to thank those who have been such support all along and at the end, especially sal93, the most steadfast and understanding of friends.

A while back, he sent me a poem he found on LJ and commented, "I want that final stanza on my tombstone (if I had one ;))." Not having one, I am appending it here in closing:

"Never did I find the line
'Tween the world of the body
& that of the mind."
- Brian Berge


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 20th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
Never having had the opportunity to meet face-to-face, I will miss him nonetheless.

I offer my condolences on your loss, and join you in celebration of a brilliant mind liberated from temporal restraint.
Jun. 22nd, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you and how beautifully put.
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Jun. 22nd, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
Is it twisted of me to be grateful that others also feel his absence? I so regret him not living to see some recognition for his work, and am especially thankful for the handful of real friends he had, whether they had ever met him in the flesh or no.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 24th, 2008 06:19 pm (UTC)
He held you in such high regard that I can't tell you how much your words mean to me. There were times when I was tempted to break my vow of silence, but I had to honor his wishes. Had you inquired, he would have simply said he was on magical retirement. He was averse to pity (hating the consoler & the consoled) and simply wanted people to be their highest selves, whatever the circumstances.

And I still can't get my mind around it, either. It seems harder now as time passes without his input, his wisdom, his humor to sustain me. But we are fortunate he did do so much writing: whenever I go back and read his work, I can still hear his voice. It is up to us to carry on the fight now, strengthened, if no longer accompanied, by his existence.
Jun. 23rd, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
I just now found out. C, I don't know what to say or do.

I do have so much regret.
Jun. 23rd, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC)
As I was cleaning out some of his things (hell, most of this place will remain a museum, there are too many wonderful items and books he collected over the years) and discovered a poem he had cut out about being remembered after death, the point of which being better to forget and be happy than remember and be sad, so I am working on remembering the good things. If there is a memento of his that you were particularly fond of, let me know.
Jun. 23rd, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC)
I just want to see you, if that is okay. I want to do something, if I can.

C, I am so torn. I was such a fucking jackass.

I don't know what to do.
Jun. 23rd, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
As the Firesign Theatre said, "we're all bozos on this bus." But you could take his real name off your journal. He used the pseudonym in part to protect me. I've been kicking myself for over a year on what I could have done differently and the only advice I can offer is you can't change the past, but you do have a lot of control over the future.

What is keeping me going is living up to my potential (he was, in many ways, my Pygmalion), representing what he preached in every aspect of my day-to-day life as best I can and preserving his works (which reminds me, I need to make out a will because now I am the conservator of his literary properties). He would want The Consciousness Institute to survive, so I am taking comfort in fulfilling his wishes. But as he would say, "you have no right but to do your Will." I am only telling you what works for me.

And sure, any time. The number hasn't changed nor has the message for that matter 'cause I can't bring myself to take his voice off it.
Jun. 23rd, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
Taking his real name off now.

I called today and heard the message.

Would tomorrow night be good for you?

I just got back from India on Thursday and I am off all week. I was there for 7 months.

Just let me know what works for you.
Jun. 24th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
I'm around most evenings but I'm back to screening calls due to heavy telemarketing.
Jun. 23rd, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
I just heard as well. This world is a colder, darker place in his absence...
Jun. 23rd, 2008 08:50 pm (UTC)
That's certainly how it feels for me and yet "the fighter still remains." Having a legacy now to preserve is what's still keeping me on the planet. He always feared I'd end up being another Mary Shelley.
Jun. 24th, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
It's quite a legacy at that. He will live on in his work and in the lives he touched....and touch them, he certainly did. I've never known a man who had such a profound positive effect on those that knew him as A.J. did. It is certainly a powerful legacy and one very much worth preserving. My heart and thoughts are with you...
Jun. 23rd, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
I was never lucky enough to meet him in person. He found me via the digital realm and became a kind voice if not a mentor during rough moments. I was struck by that generosity as well as his great love for you.

I am incredibly saddened by his passing and inspired by your grace in the face of it.
Jun. 23rd, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
Jonathan always had nice things to say about you. Keep chipping away at the Hollywood iceberg, I know he'd be proud.
Jun. 23rd, 2008 11:49 pm (UTC)
I'm devastated. Please accept my condolenses. He made a real impression on me and he shall be missed.


Jun. 24th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC)
Accepted and thank you.
Jul. 4th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
While in Vermont last week, I hiked a trail up to a beautiful spot called Deer Leap. We went there to scatter some of my mother-in-law's ahes. She loved it there and hiked it frequently. I read Jenn's post about AJ's passing the day before and was devastated. So on our way back down the trail, I found a beautiful spot under a tree and built a small cairn for him and wrote 93 in sticks around it. I posted a picture on my LJ but subsequently took it down for fear that I should ask your permission first. Let me know if you would like me to repost it and/or send you the pictures I took. In spite of never having met him in person, I treasured our brief correspondences and will always be grateful for the information he shared with me. I send you thoughts of light and love, Senryu. Jenn has my personal contact information if you should ever want to get in touch IRL.
Jul. 5th, 2008 02:31 am (UTC)
Of course you have my permission. If it were up to me, we'd have another national holiday and his face carved into Mount Rushmore. I am most touched by your spontaneous gesture and know he would be honored. Thank you so much.
Aug. 29th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
I will miss AJ as well! I grieve too for your loss. My condolences to you and I will keep you in my heart for love and healing! Please let me know if there is anything I can do at all!

I just learned today and the world will not be the same without him! He had such a knack for touching people's lives with his words and wisdom. I have always admired him and especially admired the love he had for you! Reading your posts helps me as I admire your beauty in writing, remembering and loving. Thank you!
Aug. 29th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for your kind words. I recently heard that it's something you get past, but not something you ever get over. However, he was such an amazing individual, the sense of loss goes beyond my missing him. I feel the world lost something, too. Everything appears to go forward as if nothing happened but it seems grayer, holding less promise. And though I'm sure his energy is off on some new adventure, it is one I likely will never be a part of and I try not to be jealous of whomever or whatever is next to enjoy that sense of endless exhilaration I enjoyed for so many years.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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