Monthly Archives: October 2014

My Heart Comes Out to Hurt When the Chips Are Down

Me and My Dear Friend Gail

Me and My Dear Friend Gail


New PR–324
I Already Am a Style

–To Gail
I was pursuing the artist grail
But my friend Gail
The artist

She scared me with a smile–
To be good she said
You really should

Do hundreds and hundreds
Of drawings and when
You’ve got a style

There you go from then–
But I think I’d rather be
A poet

All I need
Is God and a pen–
I already am a style*


Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Invocation:

“Towards the one, the perfection of love, harmony and beauty, the only being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the master, the spirit of guidance.”


Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Prescribed Daily Mantra:
“My thoughtful self: Reproach no one. Bear malice towards no one. Hold a grudge against no one. Be wise, tolerant, considerate, polite, and kind to all.”


Gentle Readers,
First an apology for missing a weekly post. One time out of seventy–I keep telling myself that. But one of my very dearest friends, (the above-mentioned Gail) just died after a long and difficult struggle, with her hopes to live finally unfulfilled.

I am devastated.

More than I’d ever felt possible.

I just couldn’t properly focus on a blog post–not even one that frankly had been mostly ready to go. (See next week) And if you notice aught amiss in this or the previous post, I plead lack of concentration, because those two cover the time of knowing of my friends imminent death, and then her actual death. I tell you the word death had never seemed so awful before. And I’ve lately been previously, grievously, devastated.

At least just before she died her daughter Alana read my last words to her:
“For the rest of my life I will be reviewing the beautiful memories. But I will wait until that doesn’t feel like a dagger in my heart.”

Are you hip to synchronicity?

I hear it’s a Karl Jung mystical concept. You know–the wised-up turned-mystical (with Freud) co-founder of psychoanalysis who wrote The Secret of the Golden Flower?
Well, tonight I’d just written the rest of this post, but took a break. I was watching a snippet from the Turner Classic Movie channel. (I get that free with the rent where I live in Guatemala! Except in heavy rains. Then the reception commits sewerpipes as my poor tragic mum used to say.)

It was an old Bob Cummings movie (when he was very young). It had this dialogue:

“And where is she now?”
“She grew up, and then she died.”
“Oh I’m sorry!”
“It’s all right, I can think about it now . . .”

Isn’t it interesting how the Universe seems to follow your mind?
To me who can be otherwise philosophical, the worst thing would be to die not feeling loved. Surely at least Gail knew that.

Godspeed, Gail!

But you know–in a way it feels good to be able to ache for losing my friend, who had so wanted to live. It feels good to be able to love. For the longest time in my youth I felt I had no heart. It’s nice to see I have one. It’s in the background perhaps, but my heart comes out to hurt when the chips are down.

And so I will postpone what I’d been going to say this week. This post is just for Gail.

God be with you,
Eric Halliwell

*This poem was written ten years ago, when I was first flirting with full-time poetry. And Gail’s reply to the last line was, “You certainly are!” (Which I took to be a compliment)

Gail was supportive and a wonderful editor! If we’d been just one person I think I’d be a famous poet by now. I remember one night when she was hanging with me in Guatemala. I was writing a poem and she would after hearing my latest editing stab, make further suggestions, sending me back to the drawing board, but for successive refinements. And after an hour of this she allowed as how it was finally a dynamite poem!

And I thought so too! (Not as easy as it sounds)