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A Conversation - Farewell, MichaelRead



January 31, 2013 – Comments (2)

[It's with great sadness we note the passing of a long time friend of the Fool, MichaelRead. For almost twelve years, he has blessed us with his witticisms, humor, and expertise. A recipient of The Feste Award, Michael contributed much more than simple knowledge; his wisdom about humanity and core honesty uplifted us all. This is one of his last posts, and a fitting farewell from a much-loved Fool.]

Board: Retire Early CampFIRE

Author: MichaelRead

This foggy Sunday morning I sat on the upper balcony my hands wrapped around a hot cup of tea and sharing my buttered toast with my visitor, Jonathon Livingston, the seagull. Realize, I don’t speak seagull very well and Jonathon Livingston has made no attempt to learn human but he’s a good listener to me talking. I talked about God.

I said, “There’s this discussion on TMF about the existence of God. What do you believe?” Jonathon let out several squawks that could have meant, “More toast, please,” or “The Baal Shem Tov said God reveals himself in all that exists.” I couldn’t figure out which.

I said, “Many years ago I wrote ‘Man’s description of God is man’s description of man,’
so man can describe God in any part of that which exists but only to the extent that man can describe.” Jonathon Livingston pondered that for a few moments and ate more toast. I said, “Ghandi said something in the vein that God comes in the form of bread. To a seagull, then, God comes in the form of fish.”

Jonathon Livingston looked at me to say I had gone off topic. We were now discussing the manifestations of God but not if there were a God to create manifestation. So I got back to an earlier point: angry men see an angry god and loving men see a loving god. Both can be used as a permission to act in a certain way.

I realized we weren’t going to prove or disprove God’s existence no matter how this old Jew and a now better-fed seagull could manage. I said to Jonathon Livingston, “May you have a good day, as he left. But, before leaving, he gave a squawk that could have meant: “Thank you for the prayer. You would not have given it unless inside you felt it had a validity and there is a means invisible it can be completed.”

Or, “Thanks for the toast. See you tomorrow.”


2 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 01, 2013 at 9:49 PM, Elly105 (< 20) wrote:

I relunctantly logged into The Fool just now -- I'd been procrastinating to post the news of Michael's death -- and I find this tribute on Post of the Day featuring one of his last posts... poignant and precious.

Thank you Angel May for posting my private email to you -- it is one of the hardest things to be the bearer of bad news. Now it's my turn to weep again and send you all heartfelt thanks for providing a perfect forum for Michael to expound, spout, spoof, pontificate, aggrandize himself and other fools, express his truth in ever so many forms and prevent anyone from taking themselves too seriously... yet to be serious when serious was necessary and approrpriate.

 I really wish you all could experience his home theater... it was at its peak performance only recently, at least until the latest tweak or gadget comes out. Lordy I hope nothing ever goes wrong with it because I haven't a clue how to fix it...

Michael loved The Fool and he talked about you, his dear friends often. I'll never forget the day the VIP Fools took us to lunch in Arlington when we were visiting family in DC... We even met a few of you in person -- what a wonderful eclectic group of friends! And better yet when he finally wheedled his way to winning the Feste Award, a crowning lifetime achievement. Truly! It was the last of many writing awards he received over his career.

I will post the times and details of the Celebration of Life party we are throwing for him in a separate posting. If you want to be there we welcome you with open arms. Our nephew is cobbling up some kind of Skype/Google Hangout/YouTube-like feed so 10 people can participate live at the party... and unlimited viewers. I am printing out all of the posts you guys have written and putting them in his book of memories we are compiling - so if you want to say something and haven't yet, you have time for the next few days...

So that's all folks! (well almost all). Thanks again from the bottom of my heart...





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#2) On February 01, 2013 at 9:53 PM, Elly105 (< 20) wrote:

Richard what happened to my comment?


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