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Life Arts

My Mentor Died Last Month

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(Article changed on April 21, 2013 at 10:47)

My Mentor Died

.autumn leaves through glass. by Marta Steele

My mentor died last month. I'd never let him be the kind of guy  I went to often to ventilate or guide my undergraduate studies.

My mentor died last month. To me he was a god with skinny hairless  arms beneath his wide suit jacket and so-sharp sensitivity he seemed always ill,  like Fellini's god so ailing.

My mentor died last month. He drank way too much. When talking to me  he never stammered but relaxed and crooned and I felt like a healer, my love  for him so deep it throbbed in the air between us.

My mentor lived eighty years that amazed all who knew him. A genius in  the purest sense but so tender, so caring, he followed me as I fled him, not  knowing what a mentor was. I was at the same time so flattered.

Our brief intereactions were so magic.

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He drew me out of such a low abyss I was dying and so enflamed me  with passion for antiquity's languages I returned to him five years later as a master while he held back tears.

"I went into classics because it was more practical [than Indo-European],  I told him." He chuckled.

But for me it was a slow path into the present from a past I had to swim  through slowly and put on until my first book turned inside-out the present.

He turned me into Nietzsche's child, needing the past before the present, the  present only after a deeply intuited antiquity.

Did he know I wrote a book? Would he have liked it and been proud? At a  level between us it was for him, a present of the present, paling beside what  he gave me--my own spirit, a light within that I was special that has kept me  alive when it hasn't done far more.

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My mentor died last month. He came back to me as a youth last week to tell  me.

How can I miss him most effectively? Will the light fade? Return to me,  gray spirit, again and again as you always have. My mind is as wide open  as ever.

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In deepest love, gratitude, and reverence,


A jack of some trades, writing and editing among them, Marta Steele, an admitted and proud holdover from the late sixties, returned to activism ten years ago after first establishing her skills as a college [mostly adjunct] professor in three (more...)

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wow. thank you for sharing this jewel.... by Meryl Ann Butler on Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 11:44:20 AM
Ditto.... by Cynthia Piano on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 9:30:25 AM
and lovingkindness. I came across it quite by acci... by Sheila Parks on Monday, Apr 29, 2013 at 10:19:56 PM