Wednesday, December 11, 2013

to be with Claudia was to feel right


what a gentle good soul:
the twinkle in her eyes,
the easy smile on her lips,
the steel in her sense of self,
the softness in her care for others,
the sureness in her love 
for her children and for her partner,

would that everyone could live life like Claudia,
of both determined will for her self
and determined will for others,
could anyone take better care of a parent
than she did with her mother,
or of children as she did with Alexis and Jessica,
or of a partner as she did with Kathy, the love of her life?

how fitting that she taught organizational behavior and management,
though the way she was treated at NCCU
illustrated that bureaucracy’s need of her courses,
her students loved her,
her children loved her,
her partner loved her,
just to learn to know her was to know to love her,

she knew how to organize money and things
and always had a workable plan to make sure
contingencies were prepared for:
she probably never paid a dime of interest,
she also pursued art and music with a passion,
nothing more real than the brilliant rightness
of the music she helped play, 
a professional oboe player for six months,
a Pennsylvania choir a means for Kathy to find her,
at 60 learning and then playing the violin,
for years with the Durham Symphony,

still, when Jessica gave up the violin and chose dance instead,
Claudia fully supported her 
and lived adventure after adventure with her,

Kathy and she “got” each other,
and what a treat it was for any of us to “get” her,

to be with Claudia was to feel right,
the universe and us aligned,
blocks building together rather than falling apart,

we can escape the fullness of who we can be
by being either too tough or too soft,
Claudia found how to live the assertion of will
and also the responsiveness of love.

to be with Claudia was to feel right.

by Henry H. Walker
December 7, ’13

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