Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mourning Marion Dewar

I felt a jolt this morning. Not because of another California earthquake, but the news of Marion Dewar's passing. Exactly a month ago we got a chance to meet this legendary woman in Calgary.  Despite her colossal architect of bringing Vietnamese refugees to Canada through Project 4000 in 1979 (Photos of the Project 4000), she appeared to be a warm and fun-loving woman.  I could see the joyfulness in her while we were watching fireworks at the Global Fest 2008.  She immersed in our activities with any constraint due to her age, creed or past accomplishments.  She made us feel that we belong.

We all will miss Marion dearly.  In her memory, I would like to reflect on life, death and memory through this excerpt from Samuel Butler's writing (1835–1902), British author.

Memory and forgetfulness are as life and death to one another. To live is to remember and to remember is to live. To die is to forget and to forget is to die. Everything is so much involved in and is so much a process of its opposite that, as it is almost fair to call death a process of life and life a process of death, so it is to call memory a process of forgetting and forgetting a process of remembering. There is never either absolute memory or absolute forgetfulness, absolute life or absolute death. So with light and darkness, heat and cold, you never get either all the light or all the heat out of anything. So with God and the devil; so with everything. Everything is like a door swinging backwards and forwards. Everything has a little of that from which it is most remote and to which it is most opposed and these antitheses serve to explain one another.