Saturday, 21 September 2013


Jane Cattell (photo: Gigi, album)

"We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You  playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do."
 (Marianne Williamson)

I did finish my poem for Jane and was moved to find it included in the Order of Service for her funeral last Wednesday. Even thought the occasion was obviously a sad farewell to a much loved wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, the service and the gathering afterwards were particularly heart-warming and inclusive. It was abundantly obvious that "gathering" was one of the countless things that Jane excelled at. So many friends from all over and from across the years, some of them not really knowing any of the others that well, all gathered in by Jane's talent for friendship and nurturing. A gorgeous tribute to one who loved to entertain and whose essence really was "the life and soul". It doesn't dilute the spirit of a person to become many things to many different people: what a wonderful endorsement of the gift of life.
Jane's legacy is also so evident in the composure and closeness of her family. Her baby granddaughter looks uncannily like a miniature Jane, all flaxen hair, big brown eyes, expressive mouth and an early burgeoning love of shiny shoes and handbags. At eighteen months, she's already enchanting and obliviously determined to find out what's going on.
Jane's eulogy, crafted by her family, recalled Jane's longstanding love of rock group Status Quo. Beneath the perfectly tousled hair, pretty prints and crystal vowels beat the heart of a rock-chick.. I can so readily identify with this, although for me it's always been Springsteen. I wanted to include Debussy's "The Girl with the Flaxen Hair" with this post, which is achingly sad but also full of light. Then I realised I must include the skinny-jeaned wide boys. For me, one of their finest moments was when Status Quo opened  the Live Aid concert at the special request of another demure but ultimately ballsy blonde lady, called Diana. And so, sitting surprisingly comfortably together, they're both included here; because when one's toasting a Lady, more is more.

"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim."
(Nora Ephron)

There are those who move between the days
with insistent grace and insouciant style,
gathering momentum
into a Hermes handbag;
and from year to year,
a timepiece of classic constancy,
all honey-glazed hair and generosity of smile;
ticking seamlessly from friend to parent to partner
and all the moments in-between.
There are those who fall
with inexorable subtlety,
an opiated ballet;
languid of limb and tirelessly elegant.
Length of years counts for little
in the passage of an enigma;
I wish I had known you better,
but like the dainty drawer fragrances you gave me,
glimpses of lavender amid my bargain colours,
your presence has been sleek
yet lingers like newness on gossamer,
defying gravity and grief.

"We must never confuse elegance with snobbery.
Fashion fades, style is eternal.
The most beautiful make-up of a woman is passion."
(Yves Saint-Laurent)

From "The Girl with the Flaxen Hair"  by Claude Debussy... Status Quo  at "Live Aid", 1985, and "Caroline"

The National Amyloidosis Centre: 
 x Thank you to Brian and Jane's family for making me feel so welcome x

No comments:

Post a Comment