I didn’t know when I wrote my blogpost in the early hours of the morning yesterday that destiny had crashed into the life of someone I knew.
I didn’t know that where life continued here, out there it had ended for five people hurtling down a road to the intersection of their lives ending in one catastrophic crash.
I did not know.
Would I have written any differently? Would I have stopped to pay tribute to a man I greatly admired, then instead of now?
I do not feel right writing of this man. I do not feel worthy. Yet, I feel compelled to put into words my sense of sadness, sorrow, loss, if only to say, “You were a great man, Michael. I am honoured to have known you.”
Michael was tireless in his commitment to push the boundaries of his art out into the universe. He was committed to supporting others, furthering his craft and creating opportunities for others to further theirs.
Michael Green died on a Saskatchewan road on Tuesday. He was not alone. There were three others with him and one other in another vehicle. There was a third vehicle but the passengers in it live on. It is a blessing that not all lives were lost on that wintry stretch of road.
It is a tragedy that five were.
I am confused by the suddenness of death. Startled by the quickness of its arrival and in its wake, the deafening silence reverberating in the departure of those who followed it to ‘the other side’.
I want to reach out and say, Stop. Don’t go. Wait. There is still much to do. So much to be said. To be accomplished.
And only the silence remains.
I want to remind Michael that we have to plan that coffee we talked about when last we met just before Christmas. I want to apologize for not calling to set it up like I said I would. I’m sorry. I thought I had more time.
And now, there is no time to do the things I intended. There is no time for Michael and the others to continue to create and inspire and impact the lives of the thousands of people they touched, and would have touched, if tragedy hadn’t struck on a lonely stretch of road when three vehicles collided and forever changed the course of their lives and the lives of many.
Death is a lonely companion. It hears no song but its own voice calling those whose voices meant so much to the world around them, into the silence of its embrace.
I didn’t know him well, but well enough to know that the world has lost a great human being. A man whose gifts were shared with grace, whose generosity of spirit made it possible for others, no matter where they stood on the economic or social scale, to find their voice and sing out, loud and clear.
There are so many things that would not have happened without Michael Green’s vision carrying them into reality.
I am grateful for the things he did. The times his genius created space for wonder and awe in our world.
David van Belle’s, The Invisible Project, would not have happened without some of Michael’s brilliance opening the possibility of its creation.
This is My City’s inaugural year and its production of Two Bit Oper-eh-Shun? would not have been staged without his passion.
The panel with then Governor General of Canada, Michaelle Jean in attendance, needed his commitment and persistence to making it happen.
And these are just some of the things he did to create space for art and expression that bridged the world outside with the world inside the homeless community. And the list goes on.
There is so much he accomplished, and so much more he could have done if destiny had not decided his time was now.
His passing is a reminder that there is only this time right now to get whatever needs doing done. To make the phone call. Book the coffee. Create. Express. Share your gifts. Celebrate your life. Live. Be. Do.
Good-bye, Michael Green, Lacy Morin-Desjarlais, Michele Sereda, Narcisse Blood and Morley Hartenberger.
The world is a different place without your presence.