January 22nd, 2009

I wrote and recited the following tribute at my Gramps memorial service on Jan. 22 2009.
He was 91 and lived a very full life, he returned to the source peacefully, like he lived.
It was my tremendous good fortune and great honor to have him in my life.
Thank you,
Troy

A little stream flows toward the river…

He was a newborn, a son, a rebel on motorcycle riding thru the streets of Le Roy wide eyed and full of life. Trying to impress a young woman, apparently it worked, as she quickly became the love of his life, and later became my Gram.

The stream reached the river and produced a swift and steady current…

He was an adventurer hopping trains from Kansas to California and back.
He loved to take the less travelled fork in road, literally the dirt, back road which offered more risk, yet more to experience.
He used to call me Jackrabbit.
When I was 10 he taught me to drive on that windy mtn. road.
I remember saying “right here Gramp on this road? Towing a trailer?!”
He held my hand, squeezed it twice and said “Just take it smooth and easy Jackrabbit”.
I’ve been following the road less traveled ever since.

He was a brother, husband, father, uncle, grandfather and great grandfather.
He was all of these things yet none of these names can’t really define him.
There is so much more that can be said, yet a unspoken truth can always be felt.

He fished in the river and was one with the current.

He was a student, always learning, he was also my teacher.
He introduced me to the wonder of nature, he called the ‘weedy parts’, high on a hill. And as many of you know, I’ve since climbed the literal mountain top and it is far more powerful than the metaphoric one.
The lessons Gramp taught me were often intrinsic, and I’m still learning.
Thru that communion I learned perhaps the most valuable lesson of all;
that experience is the true currency of life.

He is a master of life.
Nothing can change that, yet everything changes.
That is the paradox of life & love.

All goes onward and outward, as the river flows…

Dis-integration in one form… integrates into another.
The cycle is complete yet infinite.

We think that dying is the opposite of living,
but then a new cloud forms over the ocean
and is carried by the wind to the mountain top,
where the rain comes down and feeds the river.

Death is the opposite of Birth, Not of Life.
Life has no opposite, it is the river, flowing endlessly.

I try and name these things and define them but they are always beyond explanation.

Yet…

Within each of us we can experience the truth if you are
brave enough to face it,
humble enough to feel it,
dignified enough to accept it
and quite enough to listen.

Like my Gramp did…

When he reached this river’s end, he held my hand, squeezed it twice
and let go into the endless sea.
I felt my heart break, as if in half, part was gone forever, lost in the river’s undercurrent, and I couldn’t hold my breath any longer to try to find it.

Then later while up in the ‘weedy parts’ I listened again,
to a quite little stream and realized…
My heart hadn’t broken in half…
It had broken open and gained greater capacity.

Yet another lesson he has taught me, even now.
I’m sure it’s not the last…

Sometimes it’s hard to see from the top of the mountain…
Yet,
The ocean is the rivers goal…

Thank you Gramp.

January 18th, 2009

Here’s an assortment from Whitney and JD’s recent engagement session in La Verne Ca.
These guys are awesome, believe it or not the both ran a half marathon that morning!
We shot these in the hills where they train. My kind of people… Looking forward to a great wedding day this coming fall.