Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Robin Richardson: Words for Ester

Spoken at "Ester's Walks of Life", 9 September 2007

Tributes, memories, messages and pledges from her friends

All the words here are direct quotations from reflections written over the last year, and published on The Purple Princess website. Most of the authors are present here this afternoon. Those who are not physically present are no doubt with us in spirit.

Hey, cheeky, cheerful, chirpy, quirky, quick, flirty, worky, shirty, shapely, shining, dining, divining one. I am missing looking forward to seeing you.

Deeply passionate, deeply spiritual, open and accepting … a ball of vibrant electric inspiring energy …shining and twinkling, smiling and happy, face glowing, wisdom flowing, words knowing … a flash of purple brilliance… wisdom, wit and a wonderful view of the world … a perfect role model of what humankind should be like … inspired by everyone and thus she was an inspiration… my greatest critical friend, the greatest I could ever hope for… I learnt so much about myself from the person you were and the things you showed me… You dazzled me, warmed me, pumped purple fire through me … You helped transform so many of our experiences… You have scattered your purple and golden glitter dust over all of us.

‘Est is best’ … ‘impressed by Est’… ‘my North, my South, my East, my West’… ‘Est, well dressed’.

You named us, you knew us, you helped us know ourselves.

And we will remember where you chose to shine your light.

Dislocation and wandering are great blessings; they are also heavy loads. Those who can walk lightly carrying such weight deserve the highest praise.

She connected to people who had been cast-off by society, the powerless, the ignored, and she would meet them heart-to-heart.

I’m not sure that anyone could ever really say no to her once she got going.

Can’t just wasn’t a word in her vocabulary.

Small, even in big boots, but she carried many people.

An extraordinary talent for listening. Her rants were legendary, but when speaking to someone who was weak or suffering, her patience was without limits. She had a way of listening that made people feel understood and forgiven and accepted entirely.

Any time she spoke to me I feel like I have seen all my scattered family back home and feel so happy.

In dialogue, she always knew how to hear the other, and how to make herself heard, in a language the other could absorb.

She knew how to stand in difficult places. She had the empathy, the gentleness, the intelligence, the kindness, and the bravery.

‘There are stars whose radiance is visible on earth though they have long been extinct. There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world even though they are no longer among the living. These lights are particularly bright when the night is dark. They light the way for mankind.’

Let us endorse her life by being more kind, more compassionate, more patient, more loving, more gentle, more playful, more proactive.

And we will remember: ‘When a stranger lives with you in your land, do not ill treat that stranger. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love that stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in Egypt.’

‘My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song.’

When ‘Perfect Harmony’ cut through the quiet room at your Batmitzvah your smile shone above rapturous applause. Without even closing my eyes I see that same smile.

And we will remember: ‘You are not free to complete the task but neither are you free to refrain from it.’

There is a voice that is missing now and we must struggle to hear it. For our own sakes, it is important that we continue to listen to Ester, to remember never to become complacent. In this way, the beauty of Ester’s singing and the strength and power of her voice can continue to act as an inspiration and a guide to us.

Bye Esty, I am less without you, and the world is so much poorer without you, so we will all have to love the world, and each other, that little bit more, to make up for it.

As the budding spring flowers crown Nature with Life, you remind us to “Choose Life”.
And so we will.