For those of you on this Peaceful & Political Lent who are members of my work community, you know how difficult the last week has been.
For those who are not, please know that we are experiencing the shock of the unexpected and sudden passing of a celebrated coworker, a teacher who was as passionate about art education as he was about coaching.
Our colleague was a strong presence in our school; everyone knew him and everyone loved him. He was a good man, teacher, coach and friend, and his absence leaves a heavy loss for all of us- students and teachers alike. We all felt personally connected to him and we all had the honor of being a part of his team.
He was the one who had recommended Isla Morada- the place where Boody and I got engaged and had our honeymoon. He shared his love of my favorite book (you all should know this) The Great Gatsby and often referenced it to his students. He was always smiling and ‘up to something’ with all of his art projects and ideas.
It never occurred to me that during this Peace Lent that I would have to find peace for the cycles of life and death. A nasty debate, a rude comment, an encounter with someone who will disagree with me, yes, but not life itself.
Perhaps that is the most challenging, as it is easy to unload our woes-however ineffective- on a certain party or political figure. Yet for instances like these, there is no one to blame; no one to even attempt to shake our finger at.
But it remains that we have to have peace, not just in the disagreements and conflicts that make up the human experience, but with life, with God, with death.
Our dear colleague loved art. He encouraged students to believe in its importance in this life. For this reason, I would like to use today as a day to (1) appreciate art; its powerful influence in our lives and in our peace movements throughout history. And (2) to reflect on how we can make peace with forces bigger than ourselves.
Please send all of your love this way for his family, for our students, for the teachers and of course, send love to yourself. Life is too fragile to be unkind to yourself.
I also ask you to visit, A Peace of My Mind by John Noltner https://apomm.net/about/
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”