Last Updated On September 14, 2021

 

"May the nourishment of the earth be yours, May the clarity of light be yours, May the fluency of the ocean be yours, May the protection of the ancestors be yours." -John O'Donahue

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I have to admit, I feel a bit of the imposter offering words about Paul given I didn’t have a long-term experience of him. I’ve treasured all the snippets about him that I have gathered from his friends and loved ones. But I only knew Paul through our library for the past few years.

As I pause on this thought, how curious it is that such a limited relationship with him moves me to gather words at his passing…I start to wonder if this is the salient piece I’m struggling to translate. That even just the casual conversations, the observations, the laughs, the check-ins with this man managed to create an indelible place in my heart. Not only was he irresistible and crackling with life, he also demonstrates to me how important those brief interactions are in all of our lives even though they are so easy to dismiss!

Our willingness to stop what we are doing, to give another our undivided attention, to greet people in a manner that is meaningful, to meet people not only where they are but as the worthy beings they are. And to engage even if its just a wisp of a moment because perhaps, when you rake up all these moments in a life, it actually forms this gorgeous abundance of regard that lives beyond us and in others.

Thank you Paul.
For making me a better librarian, and a better person.

This is my poem, A Beannacht (or blessing) for Paul Batman

I only caught a glimpse of his life’s arc but this I know:
The best of us fight to stay among the living.
Without this tender appreciation most of us
Float without significant challenge to our
Status of being, watching the scenery.
But Paul and his like have to try and actively decide
Against nature’s harsh will to remain.
Activating a spirit that swirls with an
Alchemy of buoyancy and grit,
Making him Exceptional and Beloved
and cosmically vital because he managed to return to us so many times
His eyes and smile were those of a much younger man
with a life force of their own
Defying his staggered breathe, his ailing form.
His aftershave announcing and reminding, lengthening and broadening
His presence
His visitation a blooming and a cyclic awareness
Now he is part of the walls he nurtured,
the people he loved,
and in the particles of sunshine
come to rest.
###

Beannacht simply means “blessing” in Gaelic. I used this term to entitle Paul’s poem because it is a concept so beautiful and open, not tied to ideology, offering energy to the person recently passed, to the people remaining, and to the brutal yet wonderful space we reside for really such a short time with one another- including loss, including pain, while at the same time including joy and love and solace and awe. I learned this word upon encountering the work of poet John O’Donahue, I share the last stanza of his piece “Beannacht” below;

And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life

 

Last Updated On September 14, 2021

 

"May the nourishment of the earth be yours, May the clarity of light be yours, May the fluency of the ocean be yours, May the protection of the ancestors be yours." -John O'Donahue

 

I have to admit, I feel a bit of the imposter offering words about Paul given I didn’t have a long-term experience of him. I’ve treasured all the snippets about him that I have gathered from his friends and loved ones. But I only knew Paul through our library for the past few years.

As I pause on this thought, how curious it is that such a limited relationship with him moves me to gather words at his passing…I start to wonder if this is the salient piece I’m struggling to translate. That even just the casual conversations, the observations, the laughs, the check-ins with this man managed to create an indelible place in my heart. Not only was he irresistible and crackling with life, he also demonstrates to me how important those brief interactions are in all of our lives even though they are so easy to dismiss!

Our willingness to stop what we are doing, to give another our undivided attention, to greet people in a manner that is meaningful, to meet people not only where they are but as the worthy beings they are. And to engage even if its just a wisp of a moment because perhaps, when you rake up all these moments in a life, it actually forms this gorgeous abundance of regard that lives beyond us and in others.

Thank you Paul.
For making me a better librarian, and a better person.

This is my poem, A Beannacht (or blessing) for Paul Batman

I only caught a glimpse of his life’s arc but this I know:
The best of us fight to stay among the living.
Without this tender appreciation most of us
Float without significant challenge to our
Status of being, watching the scenery.
But Paul and his like have to try and actively decide
Against nature’s harsh will to remain.
Activating a spirit that swirls with an
Alchemy of buoyancy and grit,
Making him Exceptional and Beloved
and cosmically vital because he managed to return to us so many times
His eyes and smile were those of a much younger man
with a life force of their own
Defying his staggered breathe, his ailing form.
His aftershave announcing and reminding, lengthening and broadening
His presence
His visitation a blooming and a cyclic awareness
Now he is part of the walls he nurtured,
the people he loved,
and in the particles of sunshine
come to rest.
###

Beannacht simply means “blessing” in Gaelic. I used this term to entitle Paul’s poem because it is a concept so beautiful and open, not tied to ideology, offering energy to the person recently passed, to the people remaining, and to the brutal yet wonderful space we reside for really such a short time with one another- including loss, including pain, while at the same time including joy and love and solace and awe. I learned this word upon encountering the work of poet John O’Donahue, I share the last stanza of his piece “Beannacht” below;

And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life

Last Updated On September 14, 2021

"May the nourishment of the earth be yours, May the clarity of light be yours, May the fluency of the ocean be yours, May the protection of the ancestors be yours." -John O'Donahue

I have to admit, I feel a bit of the imposter offering words about Paul given I didn’t have a long-term experience of him. I’ve treasured all the snippets about him that I have gathered from his friends and loved ones. But I only knew Paul through our library for the past few years.

As I pause on this thought, how curious it is that such a limited relationship with him moves me to gather words at his passing…I start to wonder if this is the salient piece I’m struggling to translate. That even just the casual conversations, the observations, the laughs, the check-ins with this man managed to create an indelible place in my heart. Not only was he irresistible and crackling with life, he also demonstrates to me how important those brief interactions are in all of our lives even though they are so easy to dismiss!

Our willingness to stop what we are doing, to give another our undivided attention, to greet people in a manner that is meaningful, to meet people not only where they are but as the worthy beings they are. And to engage even if its just a wisp of a moment because perhaps, when you rake up all these moments in a life, it actually forms this gorgeous abundance of regard that lives beyond us and in others.

Thank you Paul.
For making me a better librarian, and a better person.

This is my poem, A Beannacht (or blessing) for Paul Batman

I only caught a glimpse of his life’s arc but this I know:
The best of us fight to stay among the living.
Without this tender appreciation most of us
Float without significant challenge to our
Status of being, watching the scenery.
But Paul and his like have to try and actively decide
Against nature’s harsh will to remain.
Activating a spirit that swirls with an
Alchemy of buoyancy and grit,
Making him Exceptional and Beloved
and cosmically vital because he managed to return to us so many times
His eyes and smile were those of a much younger man
with a life force of their own
Defying his staggered breathe, his ailing form.
His aftershave announcing and reminding, lengthening and broadening
His presence
His visitation a blooming and a cyclic awareness
Now he is part of the walls he nurtured,
the people he loved,
and in the particles of sunshine
come to rest.
###

Beannacht simply means “blessing” in Gaelic. I used this term to entitle Paul’s poem because it is a concept so beautiful and open, not tied to ideology, offering energy to the person recently passed, to the people remaining, and to the brutal yet wonderful space we reside for really such a short time with one another- including loss, including pain, while at the same time including joy and love and solace and awe. I learned this word upon encountering the work of poet John O’Donahue, I share the last stanza of his piece “Beannacht” below;

And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life