Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Up to Bismarck

Yesterday I received the sad news that a member of our lodge has suddenly and unexpectedly died. We knew her as Ximese, but her real name was Kathy, age 53. I don't want to speculate, but from the description of her friend, Todd, it sure sounds like swine flu, although I suppose thousands of people die from the regular flu as well every year. Todd says there will be an autopsy.

I'm sure Todd -- or Kathy -- wouldn't mind my passing along the following: "She really loved your book, that you had a website, and fell in love with the regulars. It was always what was going on at OC every day, she would always tell me about what happened, what was said, if Van had done something amusing, if Ben was ok, etc. You were her family in a way, as she found you when God took away her alcoholism -- literally took it. I was there.

"She had heard a sermon by (the sometimes infamous) Dr. Gene Scott about Abraham, 'Lift up now thine eyes, from the place where you are...' He was using this to say that God deals with you where you stand, not where you or anyone thinks you should be. She told me, she was in her bedroom (around 10 pm) and had the DTs, and looked up at her ceiling and asked God to help her.

"He did. She never touched it again, never wanted to, and had no desire. Period. She has been dry ever since. So, she found your book about then, and then the site, and helped out at a local Church's 'Celebrate Recovery' program, to help people realize there was more to 'recovery' than just the old rehab stuff from reworked AA."

Todd passed along this photo:

That would be her owner, Beaky, on the right. Todd says Kathy is radiating her take the f*#%ing picture look. You know, her usual look (she did not suffer trolls gladly).

Here is some more biographical info from Todd: "Her family was in the diplomatic service, and she grew up in Argentina and Paraguay. She spoke fluent Argentine Spanish, and also Japanese. She was an international student at University of the Pacific in Stockton CA, and did a home stay in Japan.

"She was a black belt in Aikido, and had worked her way from being receptionist to VP in charge of operations for a large debt management organization.

"She loved to cook, was a voracious reader, and also an online researcher. Although she read many sites -- Ace of Spades, The People's Cube, Big Fur Hat, etc. -- One Cosmos was her home."

I don't remember when Ximese found home, but it was a case of instant re-cognition. She is the archetypal person for whom I'm always writing, and without whom I could not write -- the one who whacks their furhead in d'light and exclaims, finally! Where has this been all my life!

But the feeling is always mutual -- where have you been all my life! -- since the teaching is just what goes on in the space between two people who recognize it and resonate at the same frequency. It's a vibrating triad, not a static monad or dyad, since it's two people in love with a common third that comes into view between them. It's how we can (implicitly) know each other without having to undergo the formality of (explicitly) knowing each other. Just innocent spirits at play in the fields of the word, like children learning to speak, only of higher things.

Kathy's comments are part of the permanent arkive, so that in a hundred years, unborn Coons will speak with reverence and awe of her legendary troll-bashing. Sure, she liked soccer, but nobody's perfect.

Tonight at Be'er O'clock, let us raise a glass and remurmur our bright Ximese twinkle, Kathy, and give her a proper zendoff to Bismarck, secure in the knowledge that she is slackfully kicking it with Toots and the boys.

.... a drop embraced by the sea held within the drop....


Van Harvey said...

"Kathy's comments are part of the permanent arkive, so that in a hundred years, people will still speak with reverence and awe of her legendary troll-bashing. Sure, she liked soccer, but nobody's perfect."

She'd love that. I'm hearing the Be'er O'clock soccer/baseball fued loud and clear....


robinstarfish said...

It hurts to lose an OC friend, especially one as witty and honest as Kathy. Godspeed, Ximese. Blaze a trail.

walt said...


At some point along the way, I had left a comment here mentioning something about working with plants, or tending my veges. Ximeze got ahold of my email and asked for my address, saying she wanted to share a book with me "about gardening."

Turned out to be an account by a Japanese farmer in the Central Valley (where she lived at that time) who grew an old-fashioned strain of peaches, and all his year-round struggles to produce and market them. It brought back many, many memories of when I owned a nursery.

She said she yearned to speak with Victor Davis Hansen, whom she greatly admired. I told her to look him up, as he seems like a regular guy, and lives near Fresno. I hope she did.

She signed the emails "Kathryn," but I told her that I knew her as Ximeze, and wondered how she preferred to be addressed. She said she had been called many things in many languages; one she mentioned was "Kesshi" which I think was her name in Japanese. So that was how I addressed her.

Sweet peaches, Kesshi!

Anonymous said...

Ximeze smacked me around alright, but still she was one of the more humane raccoons to deal with.

Staff Troll A

julie said...

she did not suffer trolls gladly

No, that she did not. She wielded a mighty cluebat.

Rest in Slack, Kathy. It seems a little piece of me is hanging with you, Toots and the boys. I'll be along to pick it up, some day on the other side of eternity. Godspeed, and thanks for being one of my teachers here at OC.

will said...

So long, Xims, it was a pleasure. Check in on Fergus, could ya? He always liked you, and not just because you were Beaky's mom - though, you know, that sure didn't hurt.

Not that you need all that much help in ascending to the Light, I'm sending along a prayer. (I might add, folks, that prayers are very helpful to those who have just crossed over the windy border)

We'll take up that soccer issue later.

Ephrem Antony Gray said...

As we say, may her memory be eternal;

In the place where thy saints repose, O Lord, give rest to the soul of thy servant Kathy; in a place of verdure and of rest, in the place where all sorrow and sighing have fled away, and where the sight of thy countenance rejoiceth all of thy saints from all the ages;

So be it.

Dougman said...

He did. She never touched it again, ...

I've been graced like that to.

It felt like an instant of eternity passed through me and took all doubt of whether there was God or not.


She knew it too.

Anonymous said...

I only knew Ximese from her comments here at OC over the past couple of years, but the news of her death this morning really struck me.

How sudden our life here on Earth can end.

May you rest in God's eternal embrace, Kathy.

Ephrem Antony Gray said...

I suppose one more, from old Yanni of Damascus:

Thou only art immortal, who hast created and fashioned man. For out of the earth were we mortals made, and unto the earth shall we return again, as thou didst command when thou madest me, saying unto me: For earth thou art, and unto the earth shalt thou return. Whither, also, all we mortals wend our way, making of our funeral dirge the song: Alleluia.

Gagdad Bob said...

They say the following passage from the Isha Upanishad is read on these occasions:

The face of Truth is covered with a brilliant golden orb, O Sun. Remove it in order that I who am devoted to Truth may behold its glory.

O nourisher, O only seer, O controller of all, O illuminating sun, O Father of all creatures, spread your light and subdue your dazzling splendor, so that through your grace I may see your blessed self. The Being that dwells therein -- even that Being am I. May my life merge in the all-pervading Life when my body is reduced to ashes

sehoy said...

I always got a great deal from Ximese's comments. I especially remember the personal ones about Hiroshima.

Farewell, for a short while, Ximese.

Anonymous said...

Sad news indeed.
I'll see you later, Ximeze.


mushroom said...

To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord -- Who said:

Where two or three are gathered in My Name -- even on that web thingy -- there I am in the midst of them.

Lurk on, Ximeze. See you at the River.

wv say it's ghhori -- I think it meant ghlori.

Ephrem Antony Gray said...

I highly recoonmend the 'Blameless' Psalm (which is always read at Orthodox funerals) which reads as a eulogy, and is prayed by all in the stead of the deceased. That is for those psaltically challenged Psalm 119 (118 LXX)

We all hope that when it is read over us, we will have fulfilled its words.

"Exceeding spacious are thy commandments, O Lord."

Anna said...

Oh that is very sad. I will miss her comments, too. I always looked forward to Ximeze' take. I would love to hear her perspective now, given that her adventure of consciousness is soon to be sporting a whole new level of joy - and fun, I'm sure.

Miss you Ximeze!

wv: uplumu

P.S. Ximeze quoted wv on 9/28/09 as saying "tooton"... amen!

Sal said...

Oh, this is sad. Rest in peace, Ximeze. Your verve and clarity will be missed.
Prayers for you and yours.

NoMo said...

Ximeze was a kick-butt gal in this world. I can just imagine her in the next...all dressed up with everywhere to go!

wv is expressing: "voidge"

Anna said...

"wv: uplumu"

That is, up/lum/u...
definitely some lumens up there.


Great reference! The NIV says, "so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life." It reminds of a familiar Christmas carol that hit me with full punch when I sang it the Christmas after my dad left for the upper chambers:

"Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth"

I sang it with new vigor, at full volume, like firmly taking hold of a claim. And death has no sting.

Mizz E said...

"I don't remember when Ximese found home, but it was a case of instant re-cognition. She is the archetypal person for whom I'm always writing, and without whom I could not write -- the one who whacks their furhead in d'light and exclaims, finally! Where has this been all my life!

¡Ay, caramba! Exactamente!

Below my quote [for context] is Kathy's response in which she describes her elation at finding OC - it reverberates with her unique vibrancy.

On 4/11/07
MizzE said...
In commemorating my discovery of One Cosmos and GB, da man with a swift sword, I offer:

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
-- Hebrews 4:12 

" Someone gave me a bit of brick and a little slab of marble from Rome. It was wonderful to touch one of them and think, Perhaps the Apostle Paul or one of the martyrs touched this as they passed. But how much more wonderful is it to think that we have, for our own use, the very same sword our Lord used when the Devil attacked Him.

Brooke Foss Westcott says "the Word of God" in Ephesians 6:17 means "a definite utterance of God." We know these "definite utterances"--we have the same Book that He had, and we can do as He did. So let us learn the "definite utterances" that they may be ready in our minds; ready for use at the moment of need--our sword which never grows dull and rusty, but is always keen and bright. So once more I say, let us not expect defeat but victory. Let us take fast hold and keep fast hold of our sword, and we shall win in any assault of the enemy".

... Amy Carmichael, Edges of His Ways ###

A couple of hours later...

ximeze said...

Mizze said: "my discovery of One Cosmos and GB, da man with a swift sword"

Yes! Exactly! I wandered in via some now forgotten link & thought immediately: OMG! THIS is more like! Here, at last, is somebody with 'a pair' who lays it on the line & who stands fast.

I could feel the LifeForce pumping red thru the prose, so unlike most of what's out there that passes for 'spiritual', ie: repellant, lily-livered stuff that reeks of fear, filled with platitudes about being 'above' backed up by Scriptural non-sequiters.

Here ye, Hear ye, come one & all, join us now! Please just park your brain & lifeforce at the Church door. You'll have the umph of O behind ya & the first thing we'll teach ya is to be whimpy, for the Glory of the Lord.


Thanks, Mizze, for the quotes. Archangels with flaming swords are much more to my taste than large-eyed, weeping Saints with clasped hands. ###

Thanks Lord for our sword wielding, victorious sister-under-the-pelt Kathy.

Anna said...

What a power-punched, theology-rich hymn!

The Christmas carol I mentioned earlier was "Hark! The Herald Angles Sing!" Just did a bit of research, and it turns out it is set to music by Mendelssohn written to commemorate the Gutenberg printing press. The words are quite a meta-tation on endings and beginnings, both in terms of the One to one, and the all in all.

A tad more on it:

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing! History

Some more...

Joan of Argghh! said...

I left my thoughts on the previous thread, but would just like to thank the Lord for Kathy's life among us, and thank Bob for providing such a rich and free space allowing good friendships to grow here.

Ximeze had such a fun spirit, and it was great to spar with her for the rights to Raccoon ascendancy (a non-existent thing!), even though she couldn't hide the fact that she was a great Lady of the First Order.

Djadja said...

Her lord is even now saying unto her, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."

JWM said...

God bless you and keep you Ximese. Looks like you get to pick the spot for the One-Of-These-Days Celestial Clambake, and All-Coon Reunion. May the circle be unbroken.

John M

Nova said...

We were fortunate to have been exposed to her wit and wisdom. I always liked hearing about Beaky.

Tonight one of the security systems started blinking and when I looked out by the pool there was the biggest, fattest raccoon I've seen in years looking straight back at me. He stared for about 30 seconds, then ambled back into the night.

sehoy said...

I am such an autistic soul, I find it uplifting to know that I feel great sadness for the departure of X and a day-long reflection on her and what brought me to the One Cosmos.

There must be something redeeming in that, don't you think?

It was the Cargo Cult posts that Dr. Bob made at LGF. That's when I followed Dr. Bob to One Cosmos and left LGF behind. I missed all the stuff that came after that: the LGF disintigration and such.

The photo of X. and Beaky reminded me of my beloved African Grey named Ponchita, who was smuggled out of Havana, Cuba, under a lady's dress, by my godfather and the lady, and that Ponchita was paired with Poncho, who escaped one day and never returned, and I have to wonder if "Beaky" was actually "Poncho."

It makes you wonder about how interconnected people really are.

Tchuss, Ximeze.

Anonymous said...

Such sad news to loose such a life force. Merlin sends his condolences to poor Beaky.
May all the raccoon prayers propel you on your journey.

jp said...

This is very sad, indeed.

I think that her relatively young age (for this day and age) is probably the worst part of it.

Rick said...

R.I.P., Ximeze. This sphere will not be the same without you.
Prayers to you and your family.


Bulletproof Monk said...

May her memory be eternal.

Susannah said...

I'm shocked and saddened, yet glad to know that she is now home indeed. Rest in glory, Kathy. We'll see you there.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

My deepest condolences to Todd and Beaky, and the rest of Kath's family and friends.

I read the news last night but I couldn't write anything at that time.

I'm...we are gonna miss you Kath, until we meet again at that great Den in the Heavens.
Please say hi to Oscar and Cammilu.
I know they'll love ya, as well as Fergus.

Thank you Kath, for all the great advice.
For cheerin' me up when I was down, and for showin' me how to properly handle trolls.
And for sendin' me some Costa Rican joe. That's some outstanding coffee, and you are right, it turned me into a coffee snob. :)

God bless you as you enter into your eternal our Father's house. Our loss is Heaven's gain, and it takes away some of the sting of grief gnoin' you are in the best place there is, full of joy, love, beauty n' truth.

I look forward to meetin' you when it's my time. :^)

Thank you!!!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thank you, Bob, for this fitting tribute to our Sister under the pelt.
If it weren't for you we would still be searchin' for a home. Thanks man (quick virtual man hug). :^)

burr (a troll) said...

Like a seasoned party-goer, she slipped off without fanfare; goodbyes aren't worth the kleenex they're printed on anyway.

I understand a little better now why we sparred so intimately: it was a tango. Thanks for the dances Ximeze.

Nova said...

As trolls go, ours seem to have a decidedly decent streak. Now, all you trolls have to do is tap into that and listen to coons with an open mind.

zombywolf said...

I don't come here often, but always realize when I do come -- I should do so more often. A Hail and Hearty bon voyage to Kathy -- this has been quite a good post and commentary.

Nova said...

Ever considered Twitter, Bob? It is dirt-simple and while it would hardly be appropriate for the normal posts, it is a great way to lob a quick gag or quip to the coonaspora. Also a great way to tip people to music and books. TweetDeck (free Twitter client) allows you to just paste a plain old url into the window and it handles all the formatting etc of the link (e.g., Amazon links are auto-shortened).

If I was blogging I'd consider Twitter as an adjunct, not a substitute.

Just a thought...

Leslie Godwin said...

What a beautiful eulogy, all.
What a shock it was to hear about her passing.
She and her loved ones have been in my prayers, too.
Mrs. G