November 3, 2007

Joan Lindgren


Joan working on her new laptop with G to help her. May 2006.



I wrote these words in September. Today is Joan’s memorial service. Today we gather afterwards in her niece’s home to share memories.

She moved into our lives like a bird of paradise. Brilliant. Colorful. Delightful. Flamboyant. Creative and imaginative, she made time to be a friend in all things. Always pushing our envelopes, always expecting us to reach for more, she lived her public life in full Technicolor as if it were right there at her fingertips waiting for her to grasp it.

She would invite us out to dinner. Introduce us to a special friend or two. Perhaps we would stop in for tea on her back deck. The hand she held out to us was a life ring that many of us grasped and ran with. Her classes jack hammered us out of our ruts, her presence in our lives poked us to think beyond our cardboard boxes.

The Union Tribune Obituary read in part: She was in inspiration as a writer, poet, and a teacher. Her last class was an unusual creative writing class. She translated Latin American and Spanish literary works, and was the recipient of the Luz Bilingue Prize, the Alfonso X el Sabio Award, and was a Fulbright border Scholar in the San Diego Tijuana area. Among her other projects she brought her interactive exhibit online, “Poesia Diaria: porque el silencioes mortal = Everyday Poetry: Because Silence is Mortal.” This work commemorated the 30,000 dissapeared in Argentina during the 1970’s.

Finally after years of almost retiring but not quite because she so needed the money. Finally after years of traveling hither and yon to work with the poets and authors she translated, she did retire. She sold one house, moved next door and expanded another house, created a magic home out of crumbling stucco and color falling down a canyon then let G plug her into the modern computerized world. Still in debt, after her retirement, she told us she was renting her home and moving to Canada. She kept her converted garage….a glorious spot of color on a canyon in San Diego.

Her dream didn’t last long. There will be a public memorial service today the third of November and a gathering at her niece’s home in Point Loma. Many of us find the world a much smaller place without her Technicolor presence in our lives.



Me: Shopping first. Coat. Not looking forward to the memorial gatherings later today.

G: He is such a love.

Duck: We aren’t visiting him today. We told him, told his nurses, wrote it on his calendar, told his roomie, and he won’t remember. Yesterday he at least remembered he had a calendar. This is great stuff.

Fires: All three fires will be under full control by today. Now comes the questions, the warnings, the second guessing, and the readying for the next round of fires. Santa Ana winds are due today through tomorrow. Check out the Firefighter Blog.

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