Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Clifton R. Wharton, 3rd.
In a corner of my office is a little pamphlet commemorating the life and death of my friend Clif. Clif was a Buddhist monk, albeit not one confined to a monastery. Clif was the most open and generous soul I have ever met. His smile was of many suns. Clif was funny, radiantly so, and his irreverence gave light to many in despair. It may have been that Clif was not ever of this world. I am certain that the world did not comprehend him, but that never got in the way of his sparkling smile and infectious laugh. To me, he held life and destruction, massive energy and art, all in service to his fellows. Clif could not be contained, as the sun and stars and moons cannot be contained. His water flowed all under and over, through the living and the dead, the thing that cannot die, the seasons of rebirth, the surprise of the meteor, the hot spring, the first snow, the tulip poplar blossom boat, no boat could hold, there had to be a waterfall, a rush to join all the brothers and sisters, blood-red and wine-dark. We who remember join all who have spent themselves, in sacrifice and plenty, while in certain regret, that this too must be, as the economy of the living feeds the unbounded power of the dead.