Saturday, October 21, 2017

into the larger whole

Lorman Lundsten

Lorman was an extraordinary man,
a soul with deep grounding,
with a sense of purpose, of rightness,
a surety of what to value,
a sureness of the humor possible,
a dedication to his students at St. Thomas:
if a student struggled, he was there to help,
not because such help is ubiquitous at a university, it isn’t,
but because he saw the student, knew their possibility,
and knew he could help,

born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1942,
the Swede within him coming through his father,
the French and Canadian coming through his mother,
his career for a time as vice-president at his dad’s plastic factory,
his dad using “Swedish begging” to get him there,
for a time, the family in Arlington, Virginia,
as he worked in Washington for the Comptroller of the Currency,
then he followed a calling to teach marketing at St. Thomas in Minnesota,
his professorship there a door into helping students,
and into finding time in Russia as part of career, interest, enthusiasm,
the food and drink and camaraderie of Russia another calling,
the St Paul restaurant,“Moscow on the Hill,” 
where food and the social, even grieving there,
could speak to what he wanted,

imagine him as a student at Northland College in Wisconsin,
where he found Kate, the love of his life,
the choir there where they met,
her voice and his rising to be part of a larger whole,
even this last September, as Kate was gone,
a reunion of that choir still drew him,
the choir in St. Paul still pulling him into singing these last years,
the choir a way to rise into something larger,
a greater whole that called to him,

his grandchildren also called to him to that larger whole,
though he loved one-on-one more than 
the tempestuous group behavior of kids in the fullness of play,
the Sunday dinner a tradition that started when Betsy began college,
a place to share food, connection, to slip a few dollars to his daughters,

there was a deep privacy about Lorman,
a caution as to how much to come out, to reveal,
though his twinkling eyes revealed how present he was,
and his students knew how much he cared,
how much he was there for them,
he much he loved to solve problems,
to use his woodworking skills to create,

in Meyers-Briggs, Lorman was an INFP,
the “F” a way to describe how feeling
can be the lens through which to understand the world,

with his heart he reached out to the world,
and it was his heart that finally needed to let go,
how sad to consider all the projects he had in mind
and how, just before the end,
he felt better than he had in ten years,

Lorman no longer is physically with us,
may we honor him in the twinkle of our own eyes,
and in our reaching out to those
we understand how we can help.

by Henry H. Walker

October 15, ‘17

1 comment:

Diane Reese said...

Special words about a great Lorman, my 'sisters' husband and mate.