Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Letter for Misha


Misha Bruck, 12/xx/1961 - 2/10/2008

“What does it mean to have lived a good life?”
Lars, age 7: It means that you had a nice time your whole life.
Darya, age 6: It means somebody did something sweet to you, or you did something sweet to them.
Elyss, age 7: It means you had people to love.



Our first talk was on Harry Potter,
when you brazenly called JK Rowling an egomaniac.
You were golden tanned, carefree, having left a boat job
garbed in your bleached white shorts,
an attire that would be lovingly mocked by your wife,
time and again.
You scoffed, “She had the nerve to demand an all British cast!”
I disagreed with you,
but thought it funny your passion
about banal books you wouldn’t dare open.
I didn’t know the fervor you would have
for everyday things,
though they would be later recounted by Emu to me:
edible wildflowers
the Nazis in Argentina
Jon Stewart
dogs and cats and birds
good food and drinks (even sharing my love of Malta)
gardening
books, the lot of them
wanderlust
and of course, your wife

It’s a cliché to say we don’t know what we have
until we lose it.
It’s even a cliché to deem that a cliché.
But forgive me, Misha, for not telling you sooner than here:
How kind and good-hearted I thought you were
How grateful I was to have you in Emu’s life
How happy you made her, a cherished wife
And how she found her match in you in these wondrous ways:
the whimsy—
that walks the world with a playful patter
the critic—
that sees the world with enviable clarity
the artist—
that creates and creates
(while the rest of us posture)
the traveler—
that casts the world and oceans as an office backdrop
Morocco, a honeymoon destination

You were something of a maverick,
at times bruised by rules, all rosy colored
at times kicking them to the curb, unsung
but always passing by
with a genuine heart, and brio.

I know you’re somewhere in the outer realm now,
with an eye at Machu Picchu
and a bookcase of facts at your disposal,
crafting that soup café you wanted to open
in the same careful, loving way you built your fountain
in the yard where Lazarus now roams
looking for you.
So it is, that we will one day again feast all together.
But until then—
a toast:
to the good life you lived
and the many people you loved.

1 comment:

Ken said...

Eloquent, specific, generous. What a beautiful remembrance. He was a helluva dude.