Monday, October 3, 2016

In Loving Memory of Nary/Post your Comments

Photo compilation by Laila Reiss

For Nary
No! Wait! Don't go yet What about the raspberries?
Will they taste as sweet?
We will think of you
In all the summers to come,
Their juice on our lips.
from Paula Barry on Facebook

[Nary's raspberries on lower Khandroling Farm, summer 2016, photo by Jacqueline Gens]

'Uncle Nary' was so good with kids. Our little Goma Devi also had a sweet connection with him. They would check in and chat everytime they would see each other around the Gar or Khandroling. Goma keeps the little jade buddha, that he gifted her for her 4h birthday, on her bookshelf here in Hawaii.

When we first heard Nary was in the hospital dying Goma was sad, but today when she learned that he had left his body, this was her response: "It is fine. He is going high into the sky to receive many more teachings from the Buddhas now. And maybe he will come back as a little child." :) I love how Nary was able to enter everyones dimension - young and old. Have a safe journey.--Laila Reis

Goodbye this time around, Nary.

Nary Mitchell had a very beautiful and peaceful passage around 2pmSeptember 29, 2016, at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield MA. He was surrounded by his loving, warm and kind family and many loving practitioners. We shared stories of Nary's life, his childhood, his deep relationship with the earth, trees, oranges and things that grow, and his many incarnations - more warmth and sweetness could not have been asked for. We all sang the Song of Vajra after the life support was removed. Good journey our dear Nary. We love you still.  --Naomi Zeitz

Reflections on Nary:
Big Mind, Big Heart

I first got to know Nary through Santi Maha Sangha Base classes, although I'm not sure why he attended them. There was probably nothing I taught that he didn't already hold in that vast mind of his, which retained all knowledge. I also appreciated his sweetness, and how, in class when I'd move to calm his effusive outflow of information, he'd smile and gently acquiesce. I eventually understood how he balanced that tremendous energy of his brain with simple physical labor, quietly and continuously contributing toward the stability of our gar.

Although I miss his presence very much, I can only imagine his big heart and mind, unleashed from the restraints of his physical body. --Lynn Newdome

Nary helping us assemble the motor for the "Critter" our Hollander Beater
Photo by Jacqueline Gens, October 2012

From the outset of Khandroling Paper Cooperative back in 2012, Nary was a great friend to us. He was the brawn behind our operations assisting us in numerous demos and open studios, workshops and event set-ups. Over the years, I was able to share an ongoing conversation with Nary on some of my favorite topics--everything from conspiracy theories to alien societies. He was a fountain of esoteric knowledge borne out of voracious reading.  Our KPC members loved hanging out with him. 

Nary on Lower Khandroling with KPC folks and visiting Nepalese artist Milan Rai,
Left to right: Nary, Sheryl Jaffe, Milan Rai and Kathryn O'Connor
photo by Jacqueline Gens

One of the last conversations I had with Nary was a consultation about an apricot seed from Tibet that Chogyal Namkhai Norbu had given me over a decade ago which Rinpoche said I should plant at Tsegyalgar. I asked Nary if that seed was still viable and he said that it could "awaken"  through a process of cooling it in the refrigerator and then peeing away the outer covering. We shall see. 

[Nary's small hugel Kulture bed on Lower Khandroling Farm, 
Summer 2016, photo by Jacqueline Gens]

Nary's vision for the land was in the moment with his many creations and graceful attentions - a bent arbor supporting a fragile shoot;  a hugel kulture mound of glossy edible greens;  small magical edifices here and there bringing order out of a riotous New England landscape. Thank you Nary for your proliferation of inspired seeds in our midst. --Jacqueline Gens

We only met Nary fairly recently, maybe 6 months ago. He housesat for us while we were away and took care of our dog Cooper and our plants (both inside and outside). His wisdom and tenderness with plants was astounding. While we were away he found odd and end starts around our property and planted them in the garden just so they would have a chance. One of these is a lovely grape vine that we enjoyed tremendously all summer and we now think of as a living memorial to Nary. Of course, Cooper adored him too -- he bought him hot dogs for treats! We will miss him. ---Barbara & Woody Paparazzo

[Tatiana, Max, Miranda and, of course, Nary in discourse. Photo by John Shannon]

Nary and the Shannons
"On Thursday, one of the most amazing and sweetest men I knew left this world. Nary, I will always remember the great memories we shared together. You meant a lot to me, and I thank you for all the lessons you taught me. I will never forget you, my friend. R.I.P Nary <3 #love #remembrance" --Liam Shannon

Nary, my friend, I am so lucky to have known you for so long.
Whether you knew Nary for years or just a few hours, he quickly became a fast friend. He was always ready to share his vast knowledge (our children referred to him as Narypedia), teach, help and encourage us every step of the way, inclusive of colorful long narratives he curtailed when requested. Nary nurtured life. 

Nary was a wild yogi, and a quiet force to be reckoned with. His work ethic was unsurpassed, and his contributions to our community were of massive scale. Nary leaves us great beauty through his countless plantings around the schoolhouse, lower Khandroling and Vajra Hall, and evidence of his great strength and tireless efforts through his work on Vajra Hall and all the other too numerous projects to mention. Work and service to the community was Nary's practice, and he achieved it gloriously. 

This past week, I heard a myriad of Nary stories and numerous mentions of "how he was like an uncle/brother to me."  Nary was a gift to us all, and his presence will be greatly missed. --Miranda Shannon

Nary in Baja circa 2005 doing what he did on the land -courtesy of Laurel Bellon Facebook. 

Some earlier manifestations of Nary's magic as recorded in this blog since 2012:

An assemblage of plants behind the Yellow Schoolhouse

Nary inoculating birch logs with mushroom near the Vajra Hall

A wild flower stand on Upper Khandroling

Nary bought and erected this Greenhouse for the Lower Khandroling Farm

Nary at the newly erected Upper Khandroling Gateway sign designed by Kathy McGrane

Putting all those wood chips to good use after the clear cut on Upper Khandroling

Photos by Jacqueline Gens (2012-2016)

Helen Baker on Nary:

Helen Baker of Baker's Country Store laughing when speaking of all 
the interesting Community
 people she has met over the years

Earlier today, I stopped by Baker's Country Store in Conway, MA for lunch as this is one of my 'long' days in the yellow schoolhouse-- papermaking with friends in the morning; a little karma yoga in the basement (our KPC adopted site); a round of practice in the Gonpa, later a puja happening. Most days lots of comings and goings.  Baker's is the Conway town hub and also our community go to when we need a quick snack or meal. Many people in our international community have walked through it's doors.

On this day, I spoke with Helen Baker about Nary's death. She heard the call come in at the fire station  (her husband being fire chief) not knowing it was about Nary when he first collapsed on Khandroling but then later heard that it was him for whom the initial multi-town distress call came in. Multiple towns repondd to Jeremy's sumons for help.  She was very sad to hear this-- as she said, because she was very fond of Nary. 

According to Helen,  Nary was a frequent customer at the Baker's Country Store arriving most every evening to make a few purchases just as she was closing the store. More often than not, she was in the process of locking up  when he showed up usually with a joke pointing to his watch. She said she was more than happy to accommodate him because of his warm-hearted and good natured approach and that she already missed him.    

Just one more small snapshot of Nary's impact on people and his rare quality of wholesome goodness emanating outwards.  Thanks Nary for all whom you touched in our midst! ---Text and Photo in 2014 by Jacqueline Gens

                      Neal Murray sent over this photo that Nary took of Joe Zurylo working in the Tsegyalgar road sign last year. Needless to say, even small projects like this require a high degree of collaboration, attention to detail, and effort. Nary was always ready to participate.

"Found some shots that Nary took of Joe building the Khandroling sign "house" on the memory card of the camera I loaned to Nary (actually gave, but given back to me by his brother)".  --Neal Murray    

Our most recent recollection comes from Justin Hudgins. a young man studying Tibetan, who came one summer for our volunteer encampment program on Khandroling. [Seen above in a picture with a friend by the pond]. 

Here's his recollection of Nary--

"As difficult as Nary could be at times, I appreciated his mentoring when I was volunteering at Tsegyalgar for that summer. I valued his perspective and his advice, his wisdom and guidance. It was fun listening to his stories in the schoolhouse kitchen and his theories about aliens and ancient civilizations, as outlandish as they were most of the time.

I'll miss him and I'm sure things will feel very different without him the next time I visit Tsegyalgar."

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