Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

VERY SAD NEWS: My wonderfully insightful, humane, poetic and whimsical friend Paul Slapion, the exceptionally gifted artist/photographer, died this past Sunday. We created a modest online permanent collection of some of Paul's works here. I've been finding a few other artworks he sent me during our correspondence since October, 2004. Paul created my magazine's logo/bannerhead, which is stunning. Many people will miss him. He was a rare human being. I wish I could think ah well now Paul's in God's hands. No comfort in being an atheist.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Carol, for your beautiful words about my uncle, friend and co-conspirator in perpetual mirth, Paul Slapion. It gives me great comfort that there are so many people who have experienced the tremendous joy and privilege of knowing him and loving him over the years, and who, like me, will also deeply mourn and deeply miss him. Please feel free to keep in touch.

Warmest Regards,

Sarafaith Pekor - Adoring niece of Paul Slapion

Carol Novack said...

Dear Sarafaith --- Good to hear from you!

I spoke with Bozy for the first time yesterday. He will be contributing artworks to my mag. Paul loved Mad Hatters & he tried to persuade Bozy to be our webmaster when I needed one.

I also spoke with Cindy for the first time a few weeks ago. I hadn't heard back from Paul by email. I hesitated calling, but I knew he was fighting the cancer. Paul was at home in hospice care at that stage. So sad. My father had cancer. Died in hospital in 1998, not from cancer, but from the radiation which killed his phrenic nerve so they had to comatize him & he died from some weird bacterial assault. That was a total nightmare for me. I'll never get over it.

Anyway, death is impossible to fathom. I sent Cindy this parable. I know Paul would've appreciated it:

Three Friends by Chuang-tzu

There were three friends
Discussing life.
One said:
"Can we live together
and know nothing of it?
Work together
and produce nothing?
Can people fly around in space
and still forget to exist
World without end?"

The three friends looked at each other
and burst out laughing.
They had no explanation.
Thus they were better friends than before.

Then one friend died.
Confucius sent a disciple
to help the other two
Chant the traditional funeral ritual.

His disciple found that one of them had composed a song.
While the other played the lute,
They sang:

"Hey, Sung Hu!
Where'd you go?
You have gone
Where you were before.
And we are here--
Damn it! We are here!"

Then the disciple of Confucius burst in on them and exclaimed:
"May I inquire where in the funeral ritual it allows you
to sing so irreverently in the presence of the departed?"

The two friends looked at each other, smiled, and said:
"Well trained in liturgy,
but the poor fellow doesn't understand life and death!"

Freely adapted from Thomas Merton, The Way of Chuang-Tzu
(New York: New Directions, 1965), pp.54-55.

So, Sarafaith --- I told Cindy I want to buy a Paul print, but I don't know if there are many available. Bozy thinks not. Also he said someone would have to make prints from his digitals if I were to keep the purchase link to his website going. A pity. Someone should make prints.

Thanks for writing and let me know if there's anything I can do. I don't have your email address. There's a link to one my addresses with my profile.


Anonymous said...

Hi Carol,

Paul's other loving and quite bereft niece, Carrie, here. I can tell from what you wrote that you knew him very well (and therefore had to love him).

I have no idea what we will do without him. Thank you for presenting such a beautiful collection of his work, and for the perfect parable.

Carrie Jasper

Anonymous said...

Wonderful words about a wonderful friend to all of us. I first met Paul in 1970 when we were young photographers working at the same studio and over the years we became close friends. For the past 5 or 6 years we played chess by e-mailing moves daily. Along with each move came a few paragraphs filled with laughs,feelings, concerns and a lot of wisdom. Paul handled these past few years and his illness better than anyone could have. I miss waking up and heading straight to my computer to see what Paul had to say. I miss him and will think of him daily for the rest of my life.

Thanks for giving me a place to say a few words about a dear and close friend.

Ed Herzog

If there is anything I can do to help preserve Paul's work and memory please let me know