Remembering high-flyers in 2016

Several articles talk of it in
a census kind of way –
the entertainers who died in 2016,

but we know that in fact it wasn’t
so much entertaining
that makes us miss them
as the way their lives inspire us –
to dream, write, or make music,
to act out stories,
or tell a story with honesty
and great courage,
to have fun, or too much fun
or make fun of pretensions.

And so there is at year’s end
spirits swirling
around this weary world –
a wild and flamboyant,
lit by the flashbulbs
of our paparazzi remembering …

in no particular order —
Leonard Cohen and George Michael,
Prince, Carrie Fisher
and Debbie Reynolds,
Arnold Palmer and Muhammad Ali,
Edward Albee and Alan Rickman,
Patti Duke, Harper Lee,
Gene Wilder and David Bowie …
and so many more.

These are not angels.
No. Neither good common sense
nor theological precision
would name them so,

and yet they do remind us
why our iconography
pictures angels with wings –

It is because
we so desperately want them.

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7 Responses to Remembering high-flyers in 2016

  1. Christine says:

    Thank you so much for the lovely diversity and insights of your regular emails, coming down under, where everything’s the opposite at this time of year – Advent is the release from winter, anticipation of longer and warmer days, and that special ‘push’ of Spring energy. Christmas this year was really hot, so we gathered inside for lovely lunch and gift exchanges and then played under the sprinkler in the garden. So many of the northern hemisphere customs are gradually morphing into Ozzie vision and flavour; so many remain the same – longing for peace, justice, stronger community, compassion and living the Way from the inside out. Happy New Year to you, Maren, and I look forward to reading how your way of life plays out in 2017. Many blessings.

    • Maren says:

      Thank you, Christine for your good words. I try hard to bring southern hemisphere insights as often as I can into this blog and have wonderful folks who submit worship materials and poem from Aotearoa, Argentina, Brazil, Zimbabwe and South Africa. I would love to share some of your words and you could send them in to the parallel gmail account A lovely New Year to you~!

  2. Thank you for keeping us firmly rooted in the nitty-gritty of world news all year. No matter how much dirt surrounded the incidents you gave them wings and led us in flights of hope and compassion.
    Very best wishes for next year as you fly a new path.

    • Maren says:

      Thank you, Rosalie, I am exhausted mentally and emotionally by my transition andlook forward to many changes in the New Year! Wishing you good days and rich experiences.

      • Thank you Maren. Do take time off to have a really relaxing break. Our time with family was lovely. I think I may have fixed my fb glitch by making the “Christmas in Raumati” photos ‘public’ – a friend has just let me know she has viewed them.

  3. Nathaniel C. Emens says:

    Hi Maren: I guess that I remember the low flyers. It seems that since my wife, Kaye, died in 2014 that all my dear friends of sixty years are also gone. Now, I am trying to make new friends. And by
    the way, tell me about your transition. Nat Emens

  4. Maren says:

    May this be a good New Year for you Nat! I’ve been a pastor for 37 years (not right out of school) since 93 I’ve been intentionally half-time while writing, doing workshops and helping others write / publish their books and teaching for the Humanities council. As of yesterday I have retired from parish work and will be doing more of the writing as well as joining my husband in his retirement and spending time in California with my grandson. But I am grieving my wonderful and amazing church! That’s the transition.

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