On the Two Year Memorial for Niels Holm
with a poem and photo - by William Benz
Niels Holm Memorial Page -- cuke
interview I with Niels which leads to more
I just got back from a three-day trip to
About 20 people came to a Potluck/Full
Moon Bonfire Gathering to remember Niels.
A very auspicious gathering with a
glorious October Full Moon shining down upon all.
Many of the people you know were there–
Silas, Larry Scoville, Carol
Gallup, Steven Johnson and Jim Rogers (?)
Many you might expect were absent which
is quite normal in a small community where feelings run deep and intense.
There were also many other amazing
characters there that were unknown to even long term residents.
People who hang out in the bush doing
truly revolutionary things in the spirit of the old Wobblies.
People who have fallen through the
cracks after deliberately making them.
People who have never listened to
NPR or been to a wine bar.
For six hours the wondrous anecdotes
were as varied as those telling them. With a large raging bonfire drawing us
closer together many left with an expanded view of just how wide Niels'
circle of friends was and is.
Niels would have approved.
Later, in the middle of the night, I
came out from the tepee I was sleeping in and sat down in a field of dried
ferns and grass. Beside me was a stand of wild rose hips with each berry
transfigured into a shining jewel by the brilliant moonlight. Not bad wealth
gathering for a poor white boy!
And a Great Aantidote for political
PS Please find below an Addendum to the
poem I wrote for Niels.
Also a Commemorative Medallion made from
a photo taken while people stood around the bonfire.
Moments before, I noticed the empty
chair and felt a distinct presence.
The glowing orb was added afterwards to
more visually convey my experience.
Dream Time Addendum
a Remembrance two
after Niels' passing
Who now sits in memory?
What elementals remain?
Who are we really?
And who’s here to hear this refrain?
Niels was good at showing the cracks in the busyness of our lives–
cracks in the doors of perception,
cracks in the ceilings of thought,
cracks in the columns of persistence.
In many ways
Niels and I did not see I to I,
though we kept bumping into each other
while squeezing through similar cracks.
Admittedly, at times, from seemingly different directions.
But what does that matter?
In passing, we’d often acknowledge a Federation
based on our shared fascination with demolishing
the Illusions of Authority.
As with all methods of demolition,
in the opinions of bystanders and
especially in those whose pedestals got toppled,
the degree of finesse used was often found wanting.
For it’s hard to see the love that motivates an Iconoclast
destroying objects of veneration
to make way for something more real, more natural.
A dangerous and thankless occupation, for sure.
For an Icon is often the closest some ever get to the Ineffable.
For many only trust in what can be bought, ready made
or pre-packaged and sanctioned with Seals of Officialdom.
They’d never think of building a Temple from discarded scraps.
Or sacred mosaics from debris destined for a landfill.
Such work is arduous, for there are fewer teachers of this craft
than there are building inspectors, lineage holders and
others who see cracks as a defect.
Through one Crack we found a shared appreciation of Hundertwasser–
an Austrian renegade who once said,
“Just carrying a ruler in your pocket should be forbidden,
at least on a moral basis. For the ruler is a symbol of a new
Niels didn’t need to measure things,
he made them fit by the stroke of his handiwork,
by how much cement he picked up on a trowel,
by how many bottles he had to embed in a wall.
A ruler is great for drawing straight lines, but as Friedensreich
would say, “Straight lines drive men mad.”
Niels was a master at bending the rules and throwing curves,
and in doing so, gave many a taste
of the meandering sanity they craved.
That should be a good body of work
in anybody’s book.
Written at a Bonfire Gathering,
October Full Moon, 2009,