Swift Passages


“Dominican Monastery in Dubrovnik, Croatia” © R.L. Herron

I was updating this blog and my writing web site, Broken Glass, when I came across a blog written by another writer I admire and have met several times in a writing conference setting, Cindy LaFerle.

It was a peculiar piece of happenstance, because Cindy’s blog on August 23, 2011, happened to be about another writer we both knew, Margo LaGattuta. It seems Margo died on August 22nd. I did not even know she had been ill.

I wish I could say we were good friends. She was a lively, energetic person who loved the written word almost as much as she enjoyed teaching writing techniques to all the “wanna-be” authors who would flock to her writing conference sessions (myself included).

Her passing comes at a time when there are other, closer, tragedies that weigh heavily on our family, and remind me that we are all just temporary occupants of this time and place.

The events of the past few days served as my inspiration for this update, because they reminded me of the photograph I took, above, of the wonderfully peaceful Gothic cloister garden in the Dominican Monastery in Dubrovnik, Croatia, built in 1315. I cannot describe, not with any words that would do it justice, the overwhelming sense of peace that occupied that place.

It is a peace I wish I could share with my own family, and Margo’s, as we go through difficult times. Time can seem to slow to a crawl when adversity raises its ugly head, while seeming all too swift in retrospect.

The first stanza of a poem Margo wrote (and Cindy also featured) resounds loudly in my mind right now. We cannot know each other’s heart, or the duration of our time in history.

Therefore, we should always appreciate each event, in every day, as something that forces us to pay attention to our existence. We need to both honor and cherish our history and our heritage in order to understand the direction of our future. Poets have had it right all along, love is eternal.

I CAME BY A RIVER
and the journey flashed
through me like a light
year. Some electric sound
got me moving from
the original place over
mountains and dusty
windows outside of time.

2 Responses to “Swift Passages”

  1. Ron Herron Says:

    My wife and I were in Croatia in 2006, and visited both the old walled city of Dubrovnik and the village of Cavtat nearby. The views there of the Adriactic Sea are marvelous, and the people were charming and friendly. I hope you get the chance to make that trip.

    Unfortunately, I already had other commitments this morning and had to miss the memorial for Margo. Perhaps I will see you at the Rochester Writers Conference in October.

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  2. Cindy L Says:

    Thank you for this post, Ron. My future daughter-in-law is Croatian, and I hope to visit this beautiful monastery in Dubrovnik someday, and to sense the peace you found there. Beautiful. There will be a poetry reading/memorial service for Margo at Modetz Funeral Home in Rochester from noon to 2:00 today. Maybe I will see you there.

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