For His Students (for Steve Severin)

For His Students (for Steve Severin) September 20, 2010

I have come to tell you that your teacher

is gone. Much too soon. He was a good man

with a good heart and he was my friend. Every-

thing else grows like a branch from this strong

wood. He was a great teacher because he loved

you. Because he believed you are young horses

who not only can cross the stream but drink

from it. He would hold up a question like a

lantern, swing it ahead and shout, “What

do you see?” Then give it to one of you

and hurry you into your future, barking,

“Go! Bring back what you see!”

So how do you love a teacher who’s died?

You keep swinging questions like lanterns

in the dark. You tell the story of how he

surprised your mind into opening. You

keep the part of your soul that he intro-

duced to you awake. You challenge some-

one younger than you to care. You keep

his tradition of always saying thank you.

He was my friend. I loved him and I loved

how he never stopped looking for the roots

of life; though it was always more about look-

ing than finding. Our friend is gone. Much

too soon. His name was Steve. When he

talked about you, his heart was in his eyes.

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