political : is : personal :: personal : is : political (UPDATED)

UPDATED…. she’s gone. see my last comment below.

My friend Barb is dying as I write.  I come here for vigil, shelter, a safe harbor. Barb has always been one of my “Go To” girls. She gently offered shelter in the calmest of ways, often without much more than a “come on in, hey, how bout some coffee?” A truly gracious lady. I’m going to miss her. A lot.

Bob Dylan, Shelter From the Storm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

Three, maybe four weeks ago, she was walking  and talking. She was fine. Some random unexplained aches and pains maybe, I hear she dismissed them, they’ve been going on for months apparently. But she downplayed it and managed because she had no other choice. She has no insurance.

Barb is an artist. A gifted and prolific painter … see this.  

http://artshouston.ning.com/ph…

Her man, not married, but long term, probably common law in Texas, I don’t know, is a musician. He is a self-contained introverted person, I’ve never gotten to know him, and he arrived on her scene after I had more or less left it. But he is a Really Nice Guy. Her portrait of him here.

http://artshouston.ning.com/ph…

Both talented people who contribute to our community and our culture in subtle yet profound ways, as artists often do.

And so…. She is another number, another person, woman, American, human, of the 47 million uninsured.

I first came to know her, about 1982, through a mutual friend.  RD died a few years ago, in New Mexico. Dropped dead suddenly. Another uninsured artist, multi-tasking, multi- talented genuine good person. Later it was determined that he had died of a diabetic shock coma. Or something.  Nobody, least of all him, knew he even had diabetes. Dead. A dear friend of mine, gone. Age, maybe 55? Not sure. We had lost touch since he moved out of state, but Barb always kept me linked in to him. Since his death, Barb held his memory for me, for many of us.

After he died, he visited me from time to time in dreams, for a year or so. He walks in beauty with his Oglala Sioux grandmothers.

Rest in peace, RD. I honor Roger, my friend.

Lakotah Honoring Song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

And then there’s Cubby.  Ant’ny. Barb’s good friend in the early 80’s, willing model/subject of a whole fabulous series of  Barb’s paintings entitled  “Tony & Babs”. Very rockabilly, light, fun paintings. Good stuff. A sweet and gentle man, a Brit, you could only say his name right with that accent, or his nickname, Cubby. Moved to L.A. sometime in the late 80’s, worked crew, set building type work in film I believe. Dead. Shot dead in a random act of violence somewhere on the line between Hollywood and LA proper. Cops argued for hours to determine who had jurisdiction. He, in his car with his GF and another friend (mine and his), was about to pull out leaving some apartments from having visited some other friend. Stranger approached his car window saying “Give me your money.” Cubby, in a rather predictable way, told him to fuck off, and the perp shot him right through the car window. Gone.

Rest in peace, Cubby.

How much can a person take?

Last spring, on May 11, 2008, in the wee hours of the night, after a good night, another successful and fun Art Car Parade… Tom Jones, at age 51, was killed, car impact … see this.

http://www.houstonartcarklub.c…

Tom was an entertainer as a musical front man, an Urban Animal skater, a mechanic, a motorcycle rider and enthusiast, a hot rod enthusiast, an art car artist, a painter, a photographer, a videographer (where his newest piece is running in the Art Car Museum right now, along with his orange “arted out” bicycle) and an all around good guy. Tom was an incredible conversationalist who maintained a positive attitude no matter what or who he faced. He is someone to emulate.

On Mother’s Day. Barb’s younger brother. Her painting of him here.

http://artshouston.ning.com/ph…

and another, here

http://artshouston.ning.com/ph…

In addition to many friends and family, Tom was survived by his life love Becky, who is one of Barb’s best buds evah.

Rest in peace, Tom.

It was Becky, I heard, that convinced Barb to “have that looked at” a couple of weeks ago. I can only imagine the conversation that took place. “But I can’t afford it.” “Go anyway. We’ll figure something out.”

Barb … our respective circumstances over time have been such that we were no longer in one another’s First Circle. I didn’t see her very often these past years. But when I did, there was no time, there was no distance. There was immediate warmth, camaraderie, storytelling, snark and laughter, acceptance, and…  zizz. Never fail.

My heart is aching for Tom and Barb’s parents. My heart is aching for Becky and Pat who sit at Barb’s hospital bedside tonight. They are all there now, her closest people, her parents, family, dearest friends. God be with them tonight.

My beloved friend, Barb… I pray for you safe journey. Godspeed.

Andrea Bocelli- Con te Partiro

“Time to say goodbye”

When Im alone

I dream on the horizon

And words fail;

Yes, I know there is no light

In a room

Where the sun is not there

If you are not with me.

At the windows

Show everyone my heart

Which you set alight;

Enclose within me

The light you

Encountered on the street.

Time to say goodbye,

To countries I never

Saw and shared with you,

Now, yes, I shall experience them,

Ill go with you

On ships across seas

Which, I know,

No, no, exist no longer;

With you I shall experience them.

When you are far away

I dream on the horizon

And words fail,

And yes, I know

That you are with me;

You, my moon, are here with me,

My sun, you are here with me.

With me, with me, with me,

Time to say goodbye,

To countries I never

Saw and shared with you,

Now, yes, I shall experience them,

Ill go with you

On ships across seas

Which, I know,

No, no, exist no longer;

With you I shall re-experience them.

Ill go with you

On ships across seas

Which, I know,

No, no, exist no longer;

With you I shall re-experience them.

Ill go with you,

I with you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

8 comments

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  1. too much to figure out the stupid embed stupid! But this was good dharma anyway.



  2. The Beloved by Desmond Donnelly

    A beautiful tribute Lady L.  Barb sounds like a lovely person.   I’m sorry for your loss.   Peace and light to you both.  

    • rb137 on March 9, 2009 at 7:36 am

    I hope you can find comfort somehow. My best hopes and good thoughts to you and everyone who loves your friend Barb.

  3. May Barb be surrounded by those who love her and be comforted by them.  May you find peace and solace during this difficult time.

     

  4. thank you all for sitting vigil with me.

    Barb passed tonight around 6PM. surrounded by loved ones.

    No more pain. Rest. Peace.

    May she be surrounded and engulfed in light and love.

  5. This just sucks, have a hug:

    {{{{{{Lady Libertine}}}}}}}

    I wish I had something that would make it better, but I don’t. I have dealt with a lot of death in my life, but it always sucks.

    If there is anything I can do for you, please get in touch with me at my public e-mail.

    Hang in, Sister, I have your back.  

  6. And what comfort can be offered from a valkyrie.

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