Friday, 18 April 2014

For Jase: 'and now I live, and now my life is done'

Holy Week is not meant to be all light and fluffy.
This, I know.
It is harder this year.
Monday saw me saying that most final of goodbyes to someone who,over the last 6 years, had moved into the 'jolly good pal' category.
It is a small group, and now, even smaller.
Latterly, as we meandered our way through very different PhD's, Jase was always there with a droll remark, an encouraging comment, or occasionally, a 'get on with it woman!'
His humour could make me snort my tea in a most unseemly manner.
He had the keenest mind I've ever encountered, was an avid Whovian, a lover of 'weird French stuff' [existential French theology], a generous spirit, and underneath a woolly-jumpered exterior, an unfailingly kind man.
Jase was an inspired giver of gifts: amongst many treasures [occasionally Knoxian], I rejoice not only in being the proud possessor of possibly the world's largest teapot [16 mugs or 20 cups...'great for the kirk session'], but also a Cthulhu mobile phone case...
He was one of the good guys, and the greatest gift, was of course, his friendship.
Right to the last, his courage and humour and kindness remained.
Having managed, through heroic efforts to finish his doctorate and graduate last July, he died just before his book was about to be published.
I shall miss him, and echoing the sentiments of another close pal 'I feel robbed.'
Too soon.
Too soon.

I'm minded of a poem written by another one whose life was also cut too short, although in vastly different circumstances.  The poem was written on 19 September 1586 by Chidiock Tichborne on the eve of his execution for treason - he was involved in the Babington Plot to assassinate Elizabeth.
However, while Jase could think the occasional dire thought, an assassin he was not!  Nevertheless, regardless of circumstance, the poem just seemed oddly fitting...

Tychbornes Elegie:
My prime of youth is but a frost of cares, 
My feast of joy is but a dish of paine, 
My Crop of corne is but a field of tares,
And al my good is but vaine hope of gaine.
The day is past, and yet I saw no sunne,
And now I live, and now my life is done.
My tale was heard, and yet it was not told,
My fruite is falne, and yet my leaves are greene:
My youth is spent, and yet I am not old,
I saw the world, and yet I was not seene.
My thred is cut, and yet it is not spunne,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

I sought my death, and found it in my wombe,
I lookt for life, and saw it was a shade:
I trod the earth, and knew it was my Tombe,
And now I die, and now I was but made.
My glass is full, and now my glasse is runne,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

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