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I taught you to fly

This morning I watched the wind curl through the trees in the back garden, trees that were planted in 1907. You weren't here 107 years ago and I wasn't either, at least in these bodies.

Two days before Ki turned 14, in April 2003, she posted her poem TO FALL, when she had written when she was 11:

"..I steadied your wings... when you were born I taught you to fly...  I gave you wind to glide... "

About a year and a half after that, she continued her LJ relationship with Feylectric, who lived in western Washington state in America, and who became mortally ill with Hodgkins. While Fey was in the hospital, Ki went shopping for a gift, searching in many stores near her home in Israel. Both of them shared a love of faeries and earthly spirituality; Ki found a small paperweight snowglobe, with a faerie mounted on the top of it. She carefully packed it into a box with streamers and colored paper chips, and it sat at the end of her bed. She procrastinated too long, and Fae passed into a new life in February 2005. Ki mournfully posted, "Now you're dead. And I never sent your gift. So you will never know how much you meant to me." Fae's family kept her LJ active for a few years as a memorial to her.

A common online Friend, Jessica*, read this and replied "I don't think that's true. I think she knows."

Ki visited another Friend, Christina*, in Portugal.  Later, Ki sent Fey's globe to Tina.

This time of year, in 2008, Tina linked up with me and Jess and sent a package from Europe to me in Vermont with the globe in it, and another present which had belonged to Ki. I repacked the package and sent the globe along to Jess. On May 26 Jess posted a description in her LJ, it had arrived safely.

What I have of Ki's is a small 4x6 framed painting which she bought in a shop in her hometown. It shows a tiny faerie, a luminous quiver of life, flitting slowly through a magical copse, holding a whitefire wand out before her.  She's scattering dots of light into the clefts among the dark trees and brambles so she won't tangle her six wings along her journeys.

Jess* insisted to Tina* that Jess reimburse her for the postage. They left it to me and we decided that we would make it a contribution to United Planet for their Anna Rosenfeld Memorial Fund.  I wrote six years ago that "UP might be big enough to run projects in dozens of countries but they are also family enough to grieve with us and they will certainly appreciate the reason for this contribution and the fact that, yet again, Anna is coming right over any time barriers to keep on working for children that most of us won't ever meet but whose need is so great... like hers was at those ages..."

(I changed the starred names for privacy, they both still have active Livejournals.)

Ki's small frame is on my desk right now and it's a constant joy, full of resonant meanings.

What still amazes me is all the linkage on this time bridge: for those four weeks that Spring five of us were linked across two continents and an ocean: two of us no longer here but remaining near our homes in Washington state and Israel; one more in Portugal, one in Nevada (USA) and me in Vermont (also USA). It doesn't make any rational sense to me why this all happened, but it certainly makes spiritual sense, like a lighted wand in the forest night...

Ki also wrote, in her poem TO SEE:

"...A word is said swiftly,
Disappearing into the wind.
But not forgotten, never forgotten
Forever, a word lives."

'Forever, a word lives.'
'I taught you to fly.'

Her teaching isn't over, her words are still our steadying wings.  As I write this and you read it. This memorial journal for Ki is still another bridge linking us who love her.

From MOONLIGHT DANCER, this month eleven years ago --- and right now:

"...I dance outside, into the night... rising into the air, a gentle cloud/arms raised to heaven as I dance in moonlight."

Maybe most bridges aren't built for flying. Maybe most bridges aren't eternal. Nor made of gentle clouds.

But this one is.

[post written by Brad]


I didn't know Ki well. We exchanged comments a few times. I can't even for the life of me remember how we knew each other - LJ? NaNoWriMo? Somewhere else? - it's been a long time. We both self-harmed and we'd both been raped.

I liked her very much. I was on the wrong side of the world (Australia) to do anything to help her, back when she was 15 or 16 and I would have been 22 or so. When she was pouring out her heart and soul and all I could do was be angry that she was hurting as much as she was.

My own life started falling apart when I was 20, and things got worse before they got better. I didn't forget Ki, not exactly, but she slipped to the back of my mind, because of everything closer to home.

Six days ago, for whatever reason, I thought of her again. I remembered her nickname and where she was from, and a simple google search led me to this memorial journal.

It hurts to know that the world hurt Ki so much that she chose to leave it. She was a beautiful person, so far as I could ever tell, even in passing. Even when the world was hurting her she was beautiful. I don't think there's anything I could have said or done if I had been around in 2008.

Thank you for putting this up, Brad. It's serendipitous in its timing, seeing how recently you put this up and how Ki came to my mind again not much later.

I will never let her slip from my mind again.
notalwaysweak: just running across your note on 21 November, a big safehug to you and thanks for sharing. I was so blessed to share large parts of four of the last five of her days with us, right there on her campus. And that was serendipitous as well... on the bright side of Ki, we had lots of plans in the works for photo exhibits of her art, especially relating to her June 2008 phototrip to Cambodia and poverty and sexual abuse among children that she would be traveling there to help, and to make photos of. A trip that she didn't live to make.

Exhibits were going to be in Texas and in New York City, here in America!

You are certainly right about her beauty. Then, and now. Like a lot of us, you are keeping her close.

a second reply

Thought of something else -- don't know if you'd have any interest, or if this would help you -- but my LJ is public now, and there's lots of entries from April 2008 onward dealing with our grieving. They're archived but I changed the settings to Public. Besides that, I'm gonna go over there now and Friend you.

Blessings be from Brad / Silverplate88