In the photo above, the Rev. Sara Boyles conducts Ken West’s Celebration of Life, Friday, June 29th, 2018. He was a long-time member of our community, serving in many roles, most recently on the Finance Committee. He and long time partner Bob were married here. We will keep Bob and their family in our prayers.
Bob read some of Oscar Wilde’s fine lines about love and the universe at Ken’s funeral. The lines are part of Wilde’s long, early poem called “Panthea” that celebrates all of the ancient Greek gods and their role in the celebration of life and love immersed in the world of nature.
It was published in Wilde’s Poems in 1881. The extract that Bob read, one that is often extracted from the longer poem, is lines 91 to 102 and 169 to 180, the conclusion of the poem.
WE are resolved into the supreme air,
We are made one with what we touch and see,
With our heart’s blood each crimson sun is fair,
With our young lives each spring-impassioned tree
Flames into green, the wildest beasts that range
The moor our kinsmen are, all life is one, and all is change.
With beat of systole and of diastole
One grand great life throbs through earth’s giant heart,
And mighty waves of single Being roll
From nerveless germ to man, for we are part
Of every rock and bird and beast and hill,
One with the things that prey on us, and one with what we kill.…
And we two lovers shall not sit afar,
Critics of nature, but the joyous sea
Shall be our raiment, and the bearded star
Shoot arrows at our pleasure! We shall be
Parts of the mighty universal whole,
And through all aeons mix and mingle with the Kosmic Soul!
We shall be notes in that great Symphony
Whose cadence circles through the rhythmic spheres,
And all the live World’s throbbing heart shall be
One with our heart; the stealthy creeping years
Have lost their terrors now, we shall not die,
The Universe itself shall be our Immortality!
Photo by Jim Houston