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Stephen C. McKinney Memorial Thread (1969-2001)
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Fist and Faith
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2003 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*shakes head and ckuckles*

Silly, silly Tracie.
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Furls Fire
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2003 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile that's me Smile
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And I believe in you
altho you never asked me too
I will remember you
and what life put you thru.


~fly fly little wing, fly where only angels sing~

~this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you~

...for then I could fly away and be at rest. Sweet rest, Mom. We all love and miss you.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2003 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Furls Fire wrote:
Smile

Also, I feel compelled to say this. If you all feel that I am "pushing" him on you, please let me know and I will stop posting his journal entries. Just because I think the sun rose and fell with him, doesn't mean everyone else will. Smile

peace,
Furls Smile


Please do not stop sharing his writings. I, for one, find them extremely enlightening and inspiring. In fact, lately when I have come here to read the posts I find myself drawn to this thread first to see if you have added more. (dropping a not so subtle hint there.) If I find no new ones, I just emmerse myself in the ones you have already shared. And, by the way, he was indeed an exceptional writer, just by reading these short journal entries I can see that. I would love to read something he may have actually "polished". If his journal entries, which I assume are spontaneous, are any indication of his talent, I am sure anything he set about revising and structuring would simply blow me away.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2003 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of his writing was spontaneous like that. There are a few poems he pulled from his journals and reworded. One of them was the one I posted in the other thread I think. He never titled anything, or typed anything for that matter. I have been putting some entries into MS Word, entries that I thought would touch people here to post.

I will put some more up soon. Smile
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altho you never asked me too
I will remember you
and what life put you thru.


~fly fly little wing, fly where only angels sing~

~this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you~

...for then I could fly away and be at rest. Sweet rest, Mom. We all love and miss you.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2003 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just found this thread, and read it in it's entirety. I....I'm very deeply moved, humbled and inarticulate. I had to stop reading several times, waiting for my vision to clear....blinded by the beauty of your brother, and your relationship with him. I can't express how touched I am. By the beauty and peace of this extraordinary man, and by your grace in gifting us with his words. I'm groping for how to say.... how humbly grateful I am that you would share something so personal and sacred. His love for you, and for life, shines through every word. I'm truly, truly honored. There is no emoticon for this.

Stephen wrote:
Quote:
My eyes grow weaker, this will be the last of my entries here. It is to you as all of it is, for no one else understands my heart, my soul, my pain, my desire for end, as well as you. We grew in spirit, you and I. My failing heart plays out all the memories of our days. Yours was the first face I grew to love, not mom or dad’s, not Julie’s, or Chris’s, or Matthew’s. Yours. You, sweet sister, my guide to awareness, to life. You brought me to who I am, and was. I treasure our moments, one by one, the music we made, the writings we shared, the books we read, the walks along the beach, in the forest. But most of all, our talks. You had the eyes to see me, the ears to hear me. Foamfollower, in our favorite books, said “joy is in the ears that hear.” Oh hearing you brought me such joy. My dear dear sister, I leave you with this, bound to you always I will be, in the silence, listen for my voice, it is then I will call to you, and sing to you the joy of heaven.



Quote:
Breath of life inhaled, a fanfare of angel-song
proclaims your coming, the beginning moments of you.
God’s gracious gift. How precious you are!
my soul rejoices, carols its welcome to yours,
my heart dances to your sweet music.
you hold all the secrets within you.
light of Heaven aglow with the nimbus
of joy you evoke to enshroud us,
affirm us, bring us hope.

Oh, sweet Chelsea Grace, there in your mother’s arms. What message would you tell if able? Such wisdom in innocence, such peace. I pray your odyssey through this life to be blessed, as you, yourself bless us. May you find love and light, health and gladness, beauty and faith. Beloved baby girl, I hope with all my heart that your dark times will be few, I hope you never suffer the pains this life can bring. You and your brothers and sisters are the closest I will come to children of my own. How dear you are to me. I hope you know as you grow that your Uncle Steve loved you with all his heart and soul, and will be watching over you from Heaven.



These two entries put me in mind of Billy Joel's Lullabye:

Goodnight my angel, time to close your eyes
And save these questions for another day
I think I know what you've been asking me
I think you know what I've been trying to say
I promised I would never leave you
And you should always know
Wherever you may go, no matter where you are
I never will be far away

Goodnight my angel, now it's time to sleep
And still so many things I want to say
Remember all the songs you sang for me
When we went sailing on an Emerald bay
And like a boat out on the ocean
I'm rocking you to sleep
The water's dark and deep inside this ancient heart
You'll always be a part of me

Goodnight my angel, now it's time to dream
And dream how wonderful your life will be
Some day your child may cry
And if you sing this lullabye
Then in your heart, there will be always be a part of me

Someday we'll all be gone
But lullabyes go on and on
They never die
That's how you and I will be.



Furls - Thank you is in no way adequate....but, Thank you.
And Stephen - you are very welcome among us. We are honored by your presence.
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Fist and Faith
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2003 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What she said.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2003 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

birdandbear wrote:
I just found this thread, and read it in it's entirety. I....I'm very deeply moved, humbled and inarticulate. I had to stop reading several times, waiting for my vision to clear....blinded by the beauty of your brother, and your relationship with him. I can't express how touched I am. By the beauty and peace of this extraordinary man, and by your grace in gifting us with his words. I'm groping for how to say.... how humbly grateful I am that you would share something so personal and sacred. His love for you, and for life, shines through every word. I'm truly, truly honored. There is no emoticon for this.


Smile Smile I am happy he has touched you so, B&B. It is how he was in life, everyone who met him and knew him were in complete love with him. He lit up a room when he walked in, people hushed to hear what he had to say, even if he was just talking about the weather. There really are no words that describe him adequately. He was beyond words.

Thank you so much for your post Bird and I just love that Billy Joel song!! He's one of my favorite artists. Smile

Peace,
Furls Smile
_________________
And I believe in you
altho you never asked me too
I will remember you
and what life put you thru.


~fly fly little wing, fly where only angels sing~

~this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you~

...for then I could fly away and be at rest. Sweet rest, Mom. We all love and miss you.

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Stephen C
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2003 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

July 12, 1997 6:15am

These foggy days make me long to be at sea, adrift in the calm. There is something dreamy, wistful about the sea enshrouded in mist. Dreamy and dangerous, lost yet not lost, floating the silent deep of Time’s waters. The fog on my face, caressing, soothing. Its moist touch lulling me into trance. This silent oblivion embraces me, cauls me, bears me along its abyss like it some antique bed of the age, waiting centuries to cradle me.

Ah, to be at sea on such a day as this, in my mind at least I can wander a great ship. Feel it’s strength through my bare feet as I walk along it’s decks. Breathe the mist deep within my aching chest as I grab hold of the gunnels. The hum of the galleon as it glides windless through the fog, singing softly its music so as not to disturb the tranquil theurgy. Ghost-like, it sails the still deep, propelled by an inertia unknown, some enchantment that eludes me.

Come sea and wave --
broad footpath of those who roam
and gateway to the world!
All ways lead the way to Home.
Come wind and speed- sky-
breath and the life of sail!
Lines and sheets unfurled,
our hearts covet every gale.
Come travel and quest!
Discovery of the Earth: mysteries unknurled:
roaming without stint or dearth:
Risk and journey save
the heart of life from loss and need.
We are the ocean's guest,
and we love the vasty world!

--Stephen R. Donaldson, The One Tree--


Indeed yes, on foggy days like this, I long to be at sea….
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To my brother, Steve, who held a grace and light beyond words, God bless. I love you --Tracie
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2003 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is spontaneous? The man is/was brilliant. What it must have been like to actually sit and just talk with him. Wisdom doesn't seem an adequate enough word to describe his depth of thought. It is like he existed on some higher plain of awareness. I am in awe of him, Furls Fire. Complete awe.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He would have us all awestruck, dumbfounded. This is how he spoke, his words were always full of light and music, even when they were words of pain. He was always looking for a way to "light up the darkness". In fact, there were times when he comforted me over his illness. I was the one angry about it, I was the doubtful one, the one who was bitter and asked "why him?" And he said to me once, "There is no answer. Ask why the sun rises, why the world spins, where does a minute go when it passes? It's a question like those. I don't ask it, I just accept what it is. I know I will not be lost."

He would have amazed you. Smile
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And I believe in you
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I will remember you
and what life put you thru.


~fly fly little wing, fly where only angels sing~

~this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you~

...for then I could fly away and be at rest. Sweet rest, Mom. We all love and miss you.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Furls Fire wrote:
And he said to me once, "There is no answer. Ask why the sun rises, why the world spins, where does a minute go when it passes? It's a question like those. I don't ask it, I just accept what it is. I know I will not be lost."
I told you he was a Taoist. <img src=http://members.aol.com/krobinett/images/highdrake.gif>
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yes, now that I know what Taoism is, I can see it so plainly Smile
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And I believe in you
altho you never asked me too
I will remember you
and what life put you thru.


~fly fly little wing, fly where only angels sing~

~this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you~

...for then I could fly away and be at rest. Sweet rest, Mom. We all love and miss you.

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Furls Fire
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't sure if should post this next entry, as it is of one his lowest moments. Yet, even at his lowest his words can be uplifting. I've read this entry over many times, and my heart breaks because he is so damn hard on himself in it. He truly had no idea how special he was.

Maybe that's why I feel compelled to share it. It might be too much, I don't know. Some of the conversations here on the board recently have stirred some things up inside of me. And, it seems, this entry of Stephen's, his moment of doubt, fits.

Anyway, I will stop babbling now, and post it.
_________________
And I believe in you
altho you never asked me too
I will remember you
and what life put you thru.


~fly fly little wing, fly where only angels sing~

~this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you~

...for then I could fly away and be at rest. Sweet rest, Mom. We all love and miss you.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

September 4, 1999 9:52 pm

I questioned God today. Failed in my faith, seeking an easy answer to this pain. Hard to bear, this day, a day when another friend was lost. I forgot my faith, my belief, my essential acceptance of that which I cannot change. So, I questioned God. Alex more important than me, yet I am still here. For what reason? Ah, Steve, why ask? Ask why a bird flies, why the sea rolls, why a dream fades so quickly after waking? Yet, still I questioned Him today. As I said I never would. Is my acceptance that frail? My faith that weak? Am I a liar to myself, am I that false?

As the sun went down on this day, I questioned God. I lit no candles, said no prayers, offered no thanks for another day of life. I only questioned. “Why take him and not me? Why wrest him away from his family? He is more important to this world than I will ever be.” I received no answer. Only regret, only shame. Now, I ask nothing, expect nothing, feel nothing. Numb in my failed faith. Aren’t I the one who always says it is just a passing from one way to the next? That death isn’t really an end? And yet, I question!

September 5, 1999 4:28am

There is no sleep for me. For I know now what really troubles me. Appalling, my jealousy, my envy, my greed. I question God because I am jealous of Alex! He was called Home! Not me! It was not for my friend that I felt my grief, but for myself. Selfish, so selfish. To think myself so high as to demand such favor.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

--William Shakespeare, Macbeth—


That’s it, that’s all I am meant to be, a walking shadow, poor player, on the way to dusty death. Such foolish selfish ambition, full of sound and fury, I signify nothing. How I wish I could be angry, but wrath eludes me. Alex has passed, his hour upon the stage over, and I pity myself. Out, out brief candle! Ah yes, brief.

I need to call my sister…
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and to it's tragic beauty
to pain and to strife
and all that dances thru me
the rise and the fall
i've lived thru it all...


To my brother, Steve, who held a grace and light beyond words, God bless. I love you --Tracie
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't imagine going through what he did without having days like this. The strength of his character is evidenced by the fact that he had days that weren't like this. I'm sure there are plenty of people who have more days like this than good days. As I've said often enough, I don't believe in any higher power who I might possibly get mad at, or scream "WHY???" to. I only believe that what happens happens. No rhyme or reason. And yet, if I was in Stephen's shoes, I'd be screaming for a reason from time to time. Not at anybody in particular, just out there in general. Human nature. He was, as you say, too hard on himself this day. But even I know him well enough by now to know that he got past this crisis.

Nice closing line in this entry, btw. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Fist and Faith. If he did have such days as this one, I would think he'd be living in denial and not true acceptance. I noticed that he did not say "why me" but, "why not me." It is clear he wants an end to his pain. Being that his faith in God was so much a part of who he was, makes it all the more natural for him to lash out at God. Who else does he have to blame? Whether he "accepts that which he cannot change" or not, there comes a time when one needs someone to blame.

Yes indeed, he was way to hard on himself in this entry. I do hope that when he called you, you set him to rights.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, if I remember right, I'm the one who called him. I woke up that morning, earlier then usual, with the feeling that something had happened to him. It was like that with him and I, I knew if something was wrong, like it some spiritual radar between the two of us. This day, though, he was rocked down to the bottom of his endurance. I always marvelled how strong he was, how accepting he was, and sometimes, I actually wanted him to fall apart. Because the strain of all that strength must have been so hard to bear, so utterly exhausting. I used to tell him, "it's okay to get mad at God sometimes." He would hear none of that. And when it did happen, his self shame ran so deep, it took him so far down, that I was worried he would stay there.

This friend that passed was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS about the same time Stephen was. They grew to be very close friends. Losing Alex hit him very hard. Shook his faith.

We talked for a couple hours that morning, and ended it with my telling him to get on the next plane and come to me. He was with us thru the holidays. And yes, Shadow, I set him to rights. Smile
_________________
And I believe in you
altho you never asked me too
I will remember you
and what life put you thru.


~fly fly little wing, fly where only angels sing~

~this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you~

...for then I could fly away and be at rest. Sweet rest, Mom. We all love and miss you.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2003 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your brother's ability to put his feelings down on paper like this is nothing short of a gift. Such raw honesty is rare in people. It amazes me how he can just bare himself like this. He hides nothing. Remarkable.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2003 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shadow Very Happy Very Happy

He was indeed, remarkable Smile
_________________
And I believe in you
altho you never asked me too
I will remember you
and what life put you thru.


~fly fly little wing, fly where only angels sing~

~this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you~

...for then I could fly away and be at rest. Sweet rest, Mom. We all love and miss you.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2003 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

February 23, 1996 11:38pm

I thought of something today, a memory of sitting with Tracie on the roof of my apartment building, singing Elton John as the sun went down. “Don’t let the sun go down on me, although I search myself there’s always someone else I see.” What words. I begin to think of this, how do I see myself? Am I good? Do I have inside my heart the goodness that is deemed good enough? Or must I always pursue the means to be better? The song really isn’t about that, of course, I tend to complicate the simplistic. And at the time, I was just hanging it with my sis. But, when the memory came to me, I wondered and wonder still now, who is my other self? Am I all I see, am I all what others see? And what do they see? Tracie would say to me right now if she heard this, “they would see the light of you, because that is what I see. You shine like a beacon.” She says such things to me all the time. I don’t see myself that way though. I’ve always considered myself just a speck in the dust the wind of the world stirs up. Will it have really mattered that I was here at all? Tracie would say, “yes.” In that voice of danger she adapts when ever I speak in this way. My sister fails to see her own light. She doesn’t realize that who I am, is her fault. For good or ill.

Oh, how I tend to go askew, my mind turns out and out, no reason to it.

I had someone come into the gallery today, asking for a Monet original, not a knock off like someone else tried to sell him. I gave him the book, the one that has a list of all art, originals and knock offs, collectors are willing to sell. The man was dumpy, in rumbled clothes. And he smelled of cheap pipe weed and Jack Daniels. And I thought to myself, “he will never be able to afford a Monet original.” Ah Steve, who are you to judge? He pushed the book back towards me and said, “never mind”. Then he just stared at me for what seemed like an eternity. “You have the look about you.” I smiled, and asked. “What look would that be?” He drew in a long breath that sent him into a coughing fit. “The look of a man who will not be long here. You’re dying.” It was my turn to stare. “How could you know that?” He drew in another rattled breath. “I told you, you have the look. I know what it is, I know how it portrays itself on people. With you, it’s the way you smile, it’s the way you seem to have determined to live regardless of the fact. Only people in the know of their approaching death appear to be above it. When you’re a writer, you see these things.” I was speechless. He chuckled then, which sent him into another coughing fit. “What do you write?” At that moment my phone rang so I had to turn away from him to answer it. When I turned back, he had gone. How amazing. I find myself wishing I had asked his name. A seer he was, or a messenger, or a prophet of sorts. I would like to hear what else he sees and has seen.

We tramp on ghosts of the past,
Sharing hurt and pain
Railing at happenstance
Yet we understand at last
That now, as then, though death is certain
Even as the means and moment are mystery
Dry and safe are not what matters.

Living in the now, wholehearted,
Unafraid, whatever may arise
Without anticipation or regret,
Is the only way to sample immortality.


Tracie will be fascinated by this…
_________________
I sing to life
and to it's tragic beauty
to pain and to strife
and all that dances thru me
the rise and the fall
i've lived thru it all...


To my brother, Steve, who held a grace and light beyond words, God bless. I love you --Tracie
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