Thursday, May 29, 2014

as passing time ticks "loss. . ."

Ann Dickinson Beal

in the southern heart of Kentucky,
a second child, a daughter, is conceived
by a gifted doctor and to her who made the home,
born in Texas just before her father left to repair ravaged bodies
of those who fought in World War II in the Pacific,
he who was gone so long she didn’t at first 
recognize him as father when he came home,

always Ann has joyed in life--
fine food, fine drink, fine music, Bob Dylan,
the fine culture of heart and mind both open to revelation,
and to a natural brilliance she cultivated well,
a good crossword puzzle, an engaging mystery novel,
even working on writing one herself,
mysticism drew her, too, as she worked with a colleague
to bring the gifts of William Blake forward into culture consciousness,
poetry and art intertwined together, both Ann and her father quoting Blake:

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour.”

Ann, at heart, a teacher who loved to help others discover literature and themselves,
in college at Eastern Kentucky, Wisconsin, and around Greensboro,
in high school at Chatham Hall where many young women
learned even more deeply how to love learning along with her,

nothing finer than to be in Oxford, researching,
John Rogers increasingly the topic,
he who worked to bring the Word into English,
so that the truth of the Bible could be accessible to all,

Ann in a long tradition of the Christian Church,
where the spirit of Jesus is more of the church
than the small-minded doctrines who live the rule and not the Word,

her children more important to her than life,
and her joy in her grandchildren was wondrous to behold:
the annual week at the beach
a great place to enjoy them, the surging ocean,
and fresh seafood to grace the table,

she has lived with grace throughout her life,
despite the body blows that life visited upon her,
the need to find her own way when her marriage dissolved,

yet the loss of her son last year,
plus the cancer that came into her, and ravaged,
was too much for even such an indomitable will,

like her mama, Ann lived a life of love
and joyed in her family

and in the brilliant clarity of her mind,
even when the burdens became too heavy,
Ann persevered as best she could,
until the spirit called her home.

by Henry H. Walker
May 29, ’14


Anonymous said...

What a moving tribute, Henry. I hope it can help bring you and the whole family some comfort.

kaon said...

Thanks, Henry

Unknown said...

That is a beautiful picture of a life well-lived. Sam

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute. Which I had known Ann.
Love to you and Joan,
Peg and Bill Severance