Thursday, April 23, 2015

In memory of Kathryn Green

This shows myself (in cap), Pat Harrigan, my wife Layne, and Kathryn Green at the end of the Lawrence Durrell seminar. This was held last late-June/early-July at the Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove, on the coast near Carmel, California, under the aegis of Professor Bill McDonald. Sponsored by the alumni of the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies, now part of the University of Redlands, this convened with alumni and a few fellow-travelers such as me. We discussed the merits of the Alexandria Quartet.

I think at the end of this seminar, among 22 people, she, my wife, and perhaps fellow skeptics John Rubio and Brittany Greenbaum were the only ones dissenting from the view that, after all, Durrell's once-celebrated tetralogy was successful. I liked how we all listened and learned from one another, and again, I liked watching the Johnston community in its milieu.

Kathryn went to Johnston with my wife, and she was very generous with her time and good works to assist that experimental college in its past and present incarnations. I got to know her a bit, during each seminar. She was very quiet, making me seem a chatterbox. But she joshed me how well she and I would get along in a theoretical marriage made of two silent types. She possessed a quiet confidence and poise, that showed itself in her manners, voice, and tone. She got up around 4:30 to meditate. Her stillness was evident as she perched in a half-lotus pose during discussions, composed. 

My older son graduated from JC last Saturday. I was thinking of Kathryn then, for she and I walked across the quad of century-old trees, talking about audiobook versions of Durrell. We went to join Professor Kevin O'Neill's re-convening of some of us from the previous alumni seminar, held on death in philosophy and American popular culture, a year before Asilomar. It took place in Pacific Palisades, down the coast, and it was where Kathryn had been raised. She moved to Palo Alto and there she flourished. I found out yesterday she has died, after being hit by a bicycle, a few days ago.

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