Saturday, January 13, 2007

 A Life of Paradox


Literally discarded at birth, she flourished,

Abused, hated, hurt, she embraced love,

Dismissed, challenged and ignored, she lasted,

Small and frail, she became a towering strength,

Her voice, like her eyes, pierced every situation,

She seldom spoke loudly, yet her words echo,

Always personal, so intimate, she laid you bare,

Seeing you like you had never been seen before,

And with her dispassionate acceptance, you soared,

She knew, she knew full well, her knowledge real,

A lifetime of seeking out broken hearts, lost souls,

Discarded people, like herself, not seeing their choice,

People too scared, too angry, too hurt to hear or see,

She opened her arms in honest inquiry and care,

Letting the most vulnerable feel secure in an instant.


Her paranoia was real, often an appropriate tool,

Her dysfunctional past and vision, a constant warning,

Her willingness to reveal herself, her heart and horrors,

Spoken in the same language of human connection,

She owned her self, her beast more than her beauty,

She never revelled in her achievements or honours,

Private matters, they would fall out unexpectedly,

Little hints to who she was and what she had created,

Just as quickly refocused to the moment, where she lived,

There, with you, in that electrifying place of discovery,

She lived most fully, inviting you to emerge, to risk,

Always assuring you of your ability and merit, she’d wait,

Sometimes minutes, even hours; for some, even years,

But she waited, with an up to the minute picture of you,

It was you alright, although you’d never seen it before.


So often endangered, she endured and grew and gave,

Her sexuality was so scary, she courted it to understand,

Then she celebrated it, showing others how to regain theirs,

As rage and physical attacks had defined her, so did her work,

She laboured feverishly to restore broken people to be whole,

First in the helping professions, then as a teacher, she knew,

Nothing was aberrant in nature, only refusing to see your part,

She knew that seeing how exotic or toxic your solution was,

It was the beginning of acceptance, of appreciation and love,

She was living proof of how learning to understand and grow,

Was key to a life fully lived, fully discharged of its unique merit,

Then she’d have to go; she was busy, living, being, to the end.


Thank you Joann Peterson.


Dale Partridge

January 12, 2007



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