On Radical Kinship, Loss, & Suzy P.
Most of us have heard of that rare person who sees the worth in us even during the worst moments of our existence; even those gutter times, below the lowest rung of our personal ladder. Most of us have heard of that rare person who will bend low to let us know we are seen and valued. Some of us have had the blessing of meeting such a person; who can make us laugh at our circumstances, accept our own dignity, and wonder at the divine dance of it all, even as we labor to reach again for that first (or twenty first) rung to climb onto.
Most of us have heard of artists who bring to their work the genius of letting everyone in on the joke, welcoming the audience to witness the fire of creative process; making it look easy without ever letting on what it actually cost, existentially, to create a communal experience granting rare insight to life's improbable grace. Art so deftly presented that the audience leaves the show in wonder from the experience of feeling all of that, and still being ok.
Most of us suspect there are people who can bring conflicting personalities and ideas to the table, putting peace in the middle in a way that allows every person a voice, encouraging the reach for reconciliation without losing sight of justice. Some of us have had the blessing of learning from such a person.
Most of us suspect it is possible that there is someone who shows up, in full color, when we most need someone to show up, as if sent by central casting to rescue us from the absurdity of our circumstances. A person to have remarkable adventures with. A person who surprises us again and again with their candor and love. Some of us have had the great good fortune to witness such a possibility.
In my travels around this Valley the past few weeks I am seeing a community in grief and shock over the loss of a person with these qualities. Suzy Polucci gave our world spark and sparkle. In these times, when we are adapting to chaos in the form of political, social, and climate challenges (in addition to lugging our personal baggage) Suzy's courage to be herself helped us all cope with the darkness. And it still does.
Suzy had a wide reach and this message is intended to include every one who is carrying this grief. Many of you I will never know, but I feel your sorrow in my bones. I also sense a collective sigh of “now what?” … towards which I offer this suggestion in the spirit of radical kinship:
Pass it forward.
Whatever gift Suzy was in your life, pass it forward. As often as possible. Now and then treat yourself to a bouquet of Polucci presence and sprinkle that beauty and goodness all through your life. The light doesn't go out, its in your middle, let it sustain you. And whatever kindness she graced you with, pass it forward.