Thursday, April 30, 2009

Here is Bill's obit, lovingly created by Judy Stewart on Saba and used in Ojai as well...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Beverly Hall, Beth Wheldon and Sascha Illyvich were with the swans and a butterfly in Nantucket. The moment was serenely simple and moving: they gonged each other in--- walked the labyrinth, raked in, then gestured about in silence until Beverly read, they spoke and the ashes were scattered into the ground where a tori will be placed within the month.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ashes to Ashes

This is a very amazing and sacred day: Bill's birthday and the day his ashes were released at both Nantucket Island and Meditation Mount. It was a stunning, warm and sunny Ojai day; Nantucket was spring-like and glorious. Bill wouldn't have had it any other way! 

Beverly Hall and Beth Wheldon were with the swans and a  butterfly in Nantucket. The moment was serenely simple and moving: they gonged each other in--- walked the labyrinth, raked in, then gestured about in silence until Beverly read, they spoke and the ashes were scattered into the ground where a tori will be placed within the month.

Below are some heartfelt messages that were read in Ojai this morning...

David Kanani sent the image above. It reads:

Bill was a dear friend with a huge heart. I benefitted from his wisdom, sound advice and was always touched by his willingness to listen to me even when he was suffering personal pain. He was always direct and to the point, but wonderfully attuned and sensitive to those around him. I remember one of the last times we met, he was stressed and unwell, yet even then he smiled and laughed and amused my children with his Donald Duck impersonation. It was typical Bill! His passion for education and concern for children always amazed me. I learned much from him. Above all, his bountiful optimism and passion for life gave me a great example to follow. Bill once said to me, "David, I don't fear death, it simply does not interest me!" Of course it didn't. He was too busy living life and sharing with others. Bill, we will miss you hugely, but we will remember you always with love.

From Claske Franck (wife of Fredrick Franck) and Lukas, (Frederick's son).
Frederick is buried at Pacem. A candle has been on in Pacem every day.

Gone, gone across... gone over to the other shore... farewell, farewell, hands waving in mist....
 "Is this the touch of Death? So you are real, Death.  You are not real, Death. All is... alive... All is Life."
The last sentence is from the play "The Death and Life of EveryOne", which has been done here at Pacem a number of times and Bill was present at one of these "performances".
My warm, intense, loving thoughts to all present,
 Claske and Lukas Franck

Pacem in Terris, Peace on Earth, is a Franciscan Center of Spirituality Called to serve God's people through prayer and by providing the opportunity to retreat into the silence and solitude of a simple hermitage environment. 

with love to Bill from Beverly on Nantucket ~  April 18, 2009

Here I sit in a patch of sun on a cool spring New England day as you are gathered in that cooler warmth of a California morning at Meditation Mount.  I am wearing Bill’s russet cashmere sweater he had on when he fell with the turquoise and gold ikat scarf that I wrapped around him during his last hours.  His ashes finally arrived yesterday and reside on a makeshift altar behind me—a swan feather and raised Buddha hand frame the quote “Empty yourself and sit waiting… content with the grace of God.”

I cannot vouch for Bill’s contentment at this time but I know there was a radical grace around his passing despite its untimeliness and I can only trust that these ashes are not the last we will be “seeing” of Bill.

Barnacle Bill, the Captain, William George, the second — born 82 years ago today in Webster Groves, Missouri, the only child of Alice and George. Whether sailing, soaring, soliticiting or going to a closed symphony rehearsal, he had a unique way of getting what he wanted—“pulling a Froelich” is how one acquaintance put it.  
From all parts of the world, remembrances and tributes have come, each one more touching and surprising than the other for this often irascible but lovable “larger than life”, eager to please octogenarian who never acted a day over 18 in most of his peripatetic adult life.

With his impetuous “Beep…beeps...”  to those meditative bows and ongoing creation of gongs, Bill kept up a dizzying pace of adventurous as well as arduous travel— he set a remarkable “hard act to follow” rhythm to life’s everyday activities from New York City to Saba and many ports of call beyond their shores.  Ever ready with a long list of “things to do” — and things to scratch off that list— he forged through a day with urgency and enthusiasm not letting a drop or a note slip by unheeded or overreacted to.

Bill forged a society of friends and fans (and a few “enemies”) as he searched the world and the New York Times to connect with those he revered and admired—Mrs. “R” (as he loved to refer to Eleanor Roosevelt), Huston Smith, Fredrick Franck, Jane and Hank Heimlich, Babaji, Ram Dass to name a few.    From the flowers and chocolates he plied nurses and receptionists with to those holiday fruitcakes and many strategically placed  benches, his impatience, thoughtfulness and calculated good works became legendary.

In searching out celebrities, he became a bit of a celebrity himself.  He walked the labyrinth of his life with boundless energy and unbridled passion.  Even though today was not exactly on his “to do list” we pause now to celebrate this impatient generous soul who we pray can at last be at peace here in this garden of Peace, which he knew and loved so well. 

Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God

...Just give me a little more time
I just want a little more time
because I am going to love the things 
as no one has thought to love them,
until they are real and ripe and worthy of you.