I had a phone call this morning from Rob who had heard of Marg’s death from Kathy. Rob is a great guy who was a fellow protester in the Gulf War in the nineties. He is an authority on non-violence and was bankrupted when he refused to pay the proportion of his tax spent on waging war. For twenty years or so he has been living in a tent or in houses of people on holidays. He knew exactly what I meant when I dedicated “Traffic Light to “the women in my life who have meant so much to me”. He is in a similar position with Anita who has stood by him through the thick, and mainly thin, parts of his life.
As usually happens when we engage in the occasional phone call, we “chewed the fat” over our participatory protest in Iraq and he reminded me of the journo who said of the Buddhist monk, with his drum, and me, with my prayer stool, praying in the desert at dawn “It seemed as if you two were holding the world together.
Rob is a great guy and I almost choked up when he said “I had tears in my eyes when I read your last sermon. Many Christians talk, but few walk the talk.” I don’t think I have ever been paid a greater compliment – notwithstanding the fact that it is a goal and not a reality. And for it to come from a guy like Rob makes it all the more significant. He knows in a very real way what Marg has contributed to my life and, like me, is very grateful for it.
His phone call alleviated for me an increasing loneliness. I fell asleep in front of the television the other evening and when I awoke I looked over to see if Marg had done likewise. And all I saw was an empty chair!