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rest in peace, jeff

Several of you knew Jeff Blake here on LJ. (His LJ handle escapes me right now.) He was a writer, a lover of nature, and somebody utterly in love with the concept of "grace." Indeed, he had a series of books about "living on Grace Street," as he called it. He struck me as somebody that readily saw the beauty and wonder that permeated our world -- in people, places, poetry, in the works of humankind and the works of Nature (or Nature's Creator, if you will).

I have only known Jeff for perhaps two or three years, and only through LJ and FB (and not very closely). But to know him was to be enriched.

You probably know, too, that in recent years, he dealt with skin cancer -- which metastasized. As you might expect, he exuded gratitude and grace up to the very end. This was posted on his FB page today:

"Hi all. This is Jeff’s son, Stephen. Dad wanted me to let y’all know when the time came. He passed peacefully this morning a little after 5:00. He so loved his time spent here, with us and with you all, and he soaked up every bit of love and joy, and of course grace, but I believe he was ready to go “home”. He was truly at peace with what he knew would be his end on this side. I am thankful that he will suffer no more, his earthly wounds have been healed, and I know we will see him again. Love to all."

In his recent book, he shared that Jane Kenyon was probably his favorite poet. "I read her Let Evening Come every night as a kind of surrender, a way of letting go of the day and welcoming the night." It seems like the most fitting tribute to Jeff, so I'll give the last word to Jane Kenyon:

Let Evening Come

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don’t
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
wantedonvoyage
Apr. 24th, 2018 03:46 am (UTC)

He sounds like a wonderful man. I should look for his writing. Thank you this remembrance.

bdouville
May. 1st, 2018 01:49 pm (UTC)
He was an interesting guy. Admittedly, I only have a surface-level acquaintance with his writing, and it appears that he was self-published. But he definitely had a following. I suspect that his life, itself, would furnish the material for an interesting readable biography.

Cheers,

Bruce
ashmedai
Apr. 24th, 2018 06:07 pm (UTC)
Oh wow! I remember Jeff from when he was on LJ and from e-mails; he was a wonderful man and I really treasure his books. Thanks for letting those of us know who may not have heard yet. RIP, Jeff.
bdouville
May. 1st, 2018 01:53 pm (UTC)
Bardcat was indeed a fascinating guy. I only have one of his books, which, I think, was his last: A Year On Grace Street: Daily Signposts.

Undoubtedly, he left a part of himself with many that he came in contact with over the years. In that way, he lives on.

Cheers,

Bruce
latestarter
Apr. 24th, 2018 11:04 pm (UTC)
bardcat

Thanks for letting us know.
I have his book on 'Grace Street'. A thoughtful man with the wisdom of years.
RIP Jeff
bdouville
May. 1st, 2018 01:54 pm (UTC)
Thoughtful and wise indeed. I have a copy of what, I think, is his final book: Living On Grace Street: Daily Signposts.

Cheers,

Bruce
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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