A place without dust

Memorial Service for Winston Saunders

Friday December 8, 200610 a.m.Christ Church CathedralHow do you hold a memorial for a man who was so fully alive?When my father died, almost twenty years ago now, the months that followed his leaving us were bright with sunshine, the kind of sunshine that picks up dust motes and reveals what is hidden, but the light was cold and flat. Life went on — it never stops — and the winter that followed was as beautiful as winter always is, with clear clean skies and silhouettes to make your breath stop, with water the colour of, well, God, and air as light as it gets. Things were sometimes more beautiful, maybe because the world stopped turning so often — every time he came into your mind.What's happening to me now is a similar feeling, with a key difference. I had the opportunity to work with him, with Winston Saunders (this isn't the place to call him what I called him all my life, Uncle), and the loss is professional as well as personal. And both are immeasurable. There's a big gap in the warp of life and it will take a lot of time to close.The only words I could find to describe my father's loss, after the pain began to dull and the confusion began to clear, weren't mine. They were the words of Clarice Lispector — a place without dust, a place where something was once and isn't anymore.

Ordinary miracles to pry open the eyes of the blindhappen every day. Yet my deep faith holds:sun, wind, rain, and the dark nights will changemy Boschka's cinders to deathless apples and poems— Irving Layton