James Mihaley

September  29th, 1962 February  1st, 2024
Venice, CA
James Mihaley

Those we love never truly leave us. There are things that death cannot touch. - Jack Thorne

Obituary

Dear Friends of James,

James unexpectedly transitioned on Thursday, February 1st, leaving a void that can only be filled with the beautiful memories we shared and by honoring the light of his spirit. While the family has requested that the details of his passing remain private, the outpouring of both grief and love for this remarkable soul have begun to flow.

For those of us who had the privilege of being touched by James and his tender, artistic and inspiring spirit, we now find ourselves navigating a way into peace with the reality that we will no longer be able to partake of his unique presence in this physical world. Our sacred relationship with him has now transitioned to being available inside our hearts.

To celebrate his one-of-a-kind spirited life...
to honor his glorious contributions to this world...
to recognize the deep, inspirational ways he touched the hearts of so many...
and to share with each other the pure Love that guided James each day…
           ....we’ve created this online gathering place for everyone to share all-things James:

You are sincerely invited and encouraged to share your treasured experiences with James via memories, photos, stories, videos, poems, etc. to this spirited collection. Let’s give ourselves the gift of celebrating each other’s golden memories and love that flows from our relationship with James. Please post your memories on the Memory Wall and upload any videos and photos.

The love from our hearts are washing over yours, dear James……. 🙏🏼

*********************

(This summary of James' life is in process. If you have suggested additions that might be included, please email them to Gavin Frye at gavin@gavinfrye.com. Thanks.)

James was born on September 29, 1962 in Bridgeport, CT. James is survived by his mother, Margaret, his father James, his brother Gary, his sister Elizabeth....and hundreds of dear friends from all around the world.

James was incredibly passionate about life, and expressed his depth of Love in a wide range of gifted ways.  Among these were writing & publishing, yoga, spiritual evolution, humanitarian film projects, dance, teaching writing workshops, humor, inspirational speaking, film, supporting fellow writers, etc. He also had a profound love and care for the rapture of the natural world. 

A remarkably tender and sensitive soul, James often wrestled with the suffering on the planet, thus every aspect of his gifted expressions was dedicated to making the world a better place. James was masterful at crafting stories that touched into our collective sense of humanity—all interwoven with his signature dedication to the healing power of Love. Through the vessel of his stories, he powerfully activated in others an experience of  the miracle and majesty of human consciousness and capacity for compassion.

Highlights of James' artistic career are wide-ranging. James’ children’s book You Can’t Have My Planet, But Take My Brother, Please, is published by Macmillan. In the book, it turns out we humans are merely renting Earth and because we’re such poor tenants, we’re about to get evicted. Some remarkable kids go on a quest to prove that our species is capable of stewarding the planet. It was the winner of a Bank Street Book of the Year award.

James also authored the acclaimed The Yogi Manifesto, a daringly original poetry collection that is joyous, humorous, witty, and full of grace, making it contemporary yet timeless.

The Boatyard is a forthcoming novel. The book brings to light the miraculous story of how a rollicking bunch of master craftsmen in rural Wisconsin built the finest yachts in the world.

FOG is an award-winning documentary film that James co-produced and co-wrote with Michael Pedraza and Eduardo Dolhun, in which a San Francisco doctor and disaster medicine specialist reaches out to his homeless neighbors. Amidst the United States’ unprecedented boom in homelessness, this film stands as a testament to compassionately embracing humanity amidst severe conditions—and powerfully shares the voice of those in our society who are most vulnerable.

View FOG here (13 minutes). https://vimeo.com/575749157
 (password ~ FilmFestFog22)

In response to desires to make financial contributions, family and friends have put together a GoFundMe initiative in support of the James Mihaley Legacy Fund. We invite you to contribute to this fund to bring to publication a range of James' gifted manuscripts he had dedicated himself to completing over the last couple of years.

DONATE TO JAMES MIHALEY LEGACY FUND HERE:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-family-of-james-mihaley

Thank you for being part of this journey and for keeping James' spirit alive in our hearts.

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February 27, 2024
This poem, as well, came to my heart this morning as I was simultaneously missing and treasuring our dear James:

IN BLACKWATER WOODS
by Mary Oliver

Look, the trees are turning
their own bodies
into pillars of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders of the ponds,
and every pond, no matter what its
name is, is nameless now.

Every year everything I have ever
learned in my lifetime leads me back to this:
the fires and the black river of loss
whose other side is salvation,
whose meaning none of us will ever know.

To live in this world
you must be able to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones
knowing your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
Gavin James Frye
February 27, 2024
Shared in honor of our Beloved friend, James:

ON THE DEATH OF THE BELOVED
by John O’Donohue

Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts,
Where no storm or might or pain can reach you.

Your love was like the dawn,
Brightening over our lives
Awakening beneath the dark
A further adventure of colour.

The sound of your voice
Found for us
A new music
That brightened everything.

Whatever you enfolded in your gaze
Quickened in the joy of its being;
You placed smiles like flowers
On the altar of the heart.

Your mind always sparkled
With wonder at things.
Though your days here were brief,
Your spirit was live, awake, complete.

We look towards each other no longer
From the old distance of our names;
Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,
As close to us as we are to ourselves.

Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,
We know our soul’s gaze is upon your face,
Smiling back at us from within everything
To which we bring our best refinement.

Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones.

When orchids brighten the earth,
Darkest winter has turned to spring;
May this dark grief flower with hope
In every heart that loves you.

May you continue to inspire us ~
To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.
Gavin James Frye
February 27, 2024
James Mihaley brought a ray of sunshine into every room he entered. His generosity of spirit was unmatched, and his sensitivity exquisite. We had many beautiful conversations about his magical view of Sturgeon Bay and the cast of characters who built yachts for adventurous sailors. With an artist's soul and an exquisite eye, he recounted tales of an idyllic time and place where people joined together to create the most breathtaking feats of engineering and did it all with fortitude, fun, staggering competency, a bit of madness, and a whole lot of love. That is what touched Jim the most. In Sturgeon Bay, He felt loved and protected, and I always felt that in him was a yearning, in the way a poet yearns, to return, heart and soul, to that place of comfort and kindness. Thank you, James, for touching all of our lives with your brave and tender heart.
Judith Regan
February 25, 2024
Ten or so years ago, I had a surprise phone call from Jim Mihaley with a subject on his mind. We talked about the almost forty years, from the 1960’s to 2000, during which time his stepfather, Mike Kelsey, Shuff Willman and I had become partners at Palmer Johnson Incorporated, a Sturgeon Bay company that built custom yachts for wealthy sailors from the US and around the world.

Thus began a string of fifty or so lengthy phone interviews, during which I responded to Jim’s questions about these yachts, their eventual owners, and their unique experiences during and subsequent to the building period. Our yacht owners were often colorful and demanding, but almost uniformly fell deeply in love, as their dreams became reality. Building a yacht turns out to be an experience not much different than growing a child.

During and subsequent to the completion of our conversations, Jim interviewed former employees, read dozens of PJ articles and culled and categorized hundreds of PJ photos. All this material was lovingly turned into a story to honor his stepfather, who he came to love for the kind attention Mike gave him during his childhood. His writing featured stories of the stunningly capable and often boisterous PJ crew, and recollections of customers, naval architects and the seafaring world.

Jim cared deeply for the things in life that truly matter, and with his extraordinary writing talent, he spent hundreds, (perhaps thousands), of hours crafting this great American story, which will unexpectedly and sadly be one of his last testaments.

Everyone found Jim approachable, genuine, and with a gentle, loving and often humorous spirit. Betty and I will always hold him dear, as will others whose lives he enriched.
Bill Parsons
February 25, 2024
Before writing thoughts for my dear friend, Jim, I read the many exquisite, loving memorials that have been posted. While I have many similar observations of his remarkable personality and talents, I have learned so many wonderful, new things. Thank you.

I first met Jim when he lived in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin where he attended middle and high school. He was a basketball rock star, and all the younger fellows idolized him. Subsequently, we were out of touch until 2014, when he had the opportunity to teach a writing class in our county. This hatched an annual tradition, as his seminars continued and were followed by several days at our home.

It was a joy to be Jim’s host. Jim was always attuned to the unfolding day and was the perfect house guest. We’d typically rendezvous in the evening, and linger over dinner and a sunset. We laughed and told jokes, savored his quick humor, admired his accurate insights, keen intellect and appreciated his ready kudos for what he deemed a good meal. Jim wore his gentle, kind nature, sensitivity, and appreciation of Mother Nature on his sleeve.

Jim was a rare individual, who left an indelible imprint on my husband, Bill, and me. Like his family and friends, we will dearly miss this special spirit, and will forever hold him close.

Betty Parsons
Betty Parsons
February 25, 2024
Sweet James,
My memories of you are all wonderful and sweet because of your kind and precious soul.
Whenever we had conversation and I really listened to you, I loved the passion and the sincerity that you relayed. I felt you wanted to share with others all of the things precious to your heart.
One of my favorite memories is sitting outside by the calm water while you read your story to us. It was surprising and Lovely how wonderfully well you expressed your thoughts to others through your book. In my presence you displayed a sweetness and you were an encourager. I pray you are experiencing the loving arms of Jesus holding you in perfect peace. Blessings my friend. Patti
Patricia Gage
February 24, 2024
Taking Jim’s class last summer at WriteOn Door County was exactly what I needed, when I needed it, in great part because he was our instructor. Over the course of the two-day workshop, he gently and masterfully created a trusting cocoon of artistic community. I witnessed all of us transform into confident and hungry writers, excited to unearth the stories and voices he was encouraging us to find. We laughed, cried, and held space for each other. We poured our hearts and hopes and imaginations out into our notebooks, then read aloud to the group of strangers around the table. We took risks. We reminded ourselves, at his insistence, “I am a writer.” He made it all possible with his intensely kind energy and guidance. I knew him such a short time, but he made a huge impact, instilling in me the confidence to develop my voice and follow my own creative path. I am so grateful to have met and been coached by him. His generous, caring spirit will live on in all of us, and he will be greatly missed.
Lisa Ridgely
February 24, 2024
I was privileged to meet Jim at Write On Door through his writing workshops. He was a brilliant teacher in the most understated way. I knew within a few minutes of the first workshop I took with him that I was in the presence of a master. He was able to take a table full of strangers and quickly turn us into a community that could comfortably share written words, vulnerabilities, and doubts. Jim helped us believe in ourselves. and celebrated our unique voices. He had a gift for sparking creativity so that words burned brightly on the pages of our notebooks. He was generous with his feedback and a great listener. He was always fully present. Jim became a friend, a kindred spirit. My time knowing him was short, but the impact was immense. I will forever hear his voice, his laugh, and his encouragement when I put my pen to the page...a voice of compassion, kindness, intuition, and grace.

Sharon R Daly
February 22, 2024
JIm, Jim, Jim, my heart is pulsating calling you, how could it be? it is still such a continuous shook...like being hit in the face and in the heart, again and again...you are no longer with us....and your special being, such unique being, such rare carrier of Light, Love, Beauty, Hope, Creativity, Empathy and Compassion, and resilience, and kindness.....such rare unique and precious being is not longer with us, because non of our our love could keep you......Love Thing, we talked about recording it with music, I will, it will live forever, The Draught poem will live forever, and your higher virtues will live forever in all of our hearts.
Yuval Ron
February 21, 2024
I wish I would have responded "yes" instead of "not at this time" this past October for the opportunity to again share my stories with James over Zoom.

I wish I would have signed up again for another one of his writing workshops.

I don't remember all the short stories from that small group over those two long summer days three years ago, but I do remember James in his hooded sweatshirt leisurely, yet pensively strolling- hunched over, unassuming, guard down, submitting to the sun slowly rising up over our heads.

I was hesitant to share amongst the others that day, but James reassured me in a calm, persuasive, yet unaffected tone to choose whether or not to share. I wrote. And I shared.

Thank you James. I wish I knew you more.
Jeannine Zahran
February 21, 2024
Many writing instructors can help writers learn to improve their storytelling skills. Jim was one of the very rare ones who could take you on a journey into your own heart and bring you back, not to just enhance your story but to deepen your knowledge of yourself as well as what truth looks like when it's shared by someone who cares for you as a person. While I've known Jim for less than a year, I'll remember his words to me as well as how he showed me that I could be a bit more alive each day.
Mike Kern
February 21, 2024
I will always cherish the memory of the day I arrived at my new place, feeling overwhelmed with luggage, and James immediately stepped in to help without hesitation. His kindness was palpable from that moment onward, and it only grew deeper with time. James had a remarkable way of always having the right words to say and being there whenever anyone needed him.
He was a true embodiment of kindness and compassion. James, you will be deeply missed, but your legacy of warmth and generosity will live on in our hearts forever.
Taline
February 21, 2024
James was more than just a friendly face in the neighborhood; he was warm and compassionate. His caring nature touched the lives of all who had the privilege of knowing him. Whether through a simple chat or a heartfelt conversation about life, he had a unique way of making everyone feel valued and heard. I feel lucky we had a close conversation in Neue House celebrating life and creativity.

One of the fondest memories we share is the joyous evening we spent together during my 40th birthday celebration. His presence added an extra layer of happiness to the occasion. He expressed multiple times how much he cherished that evening, and knowing he found joy in our company brings comfort. Thank you, our caring neighbor and dear friend.
Vadi Efe
February 20, 2024
(PART 2) Yet, there are no words that can ever capture the sweetness and depth in my heart where you’ve stirred me like no other Soul in this lifetime. Here’s what’s I am finding amazing and comforting since your departure, my beloved James: underneath my grief the last couple of weeks, I’ve discovered that I have always known and savored you in an eternal way that transcends time. And although I would give anything to hang out together with you one more time in this physical world—to play and create with such freedom as we always did together—in truth the depth of where you live inside of me is still so very vibrant and alive….and always will be. I love the feel of your eternal presence in my heart…..

Finally, James, I realized something just yesterday: in 2008, while on a poetry walking tour with the poet David Whyte in Western Ireland, I received inspiration to open to a new first and middle name—as a loving gift to myself, a way of honoring my heart. This is when Gavin was born as my calling card in this lifetime. As you know, at that time I was also invited to select James as my middle name, which I gladly did. I have genuinely always loved this name as well, and this was many years before you and I met. Upon your physical passing, I find myself called to ever-more fully embrace this middle name—now as well in honor of you and your exquisite Soul, with your tapestry of unique love and the profound impact you’ve had upon my life. I bow down to you, James Mihaley, my lovely and powerful brother of Light. May you travel with grace and peace in your newest adventure with Spirit, into what I pray is a most glorious territory—that is, to us who remain in this world for now, yet unknown. May you continue to usher the way for me, as you always have, my dearest friend.

In Love, Gavin James Frye
Gavin James Frye
February 20, 2024
Oh, dear James, you have always been and will always be a magnificent gem of a Soul to me. For the last 7 years you and I have shared the most exquisite friendship of the heart. The finest by far of my life. So many shared passions, including a profound love for Spirit and the way we both welcomed divine inspiration to guide our lives each day. So many weeks spent together on Bainbridge Island and Lake Stephens being bathed by our mutual love for being surrounded and blessed by water and the wild nourishment of nature.

Right from the moment we connected, James, you saw who I was in all my depth and humanity—and I knew I was adored by you. It was mutual. You not only edited my book, THE REAL YOU: Leading Your Life From Your Authentic Self, but in the process you magically drew out my most authentic voice and heartfelt intelligence onto those pages in a way that was remarkable and yet so natural. You interviewed me about my work hundreds of times with such wisdom, playfulness and safety—that mysteriously invited me to show up consistently as my best self being welcomed by your loving presence. (With our mutual love of baseball in mind, you were my ideal battery mate—always there as the finest catcher this pitcher could ever be blessed to have.) Your devotion and regular communications to both your mom and dad throughout our years together was moving, your way of knowing how we as humans can write words that capture our soul’s expression, and how your own distinctive, eloquent voice was woven into so many of your published and unpublished works with your signature qualities of insight and compassion. You championed me so steadily year after year—always inviting me to continue spreading my glorious wings, to rise to the fullest expression of my gifts and Spirit-filled overflow…….

There is so, so much more—I could easily write for hours—as you have blessed me perpetually with such a profound and steady and spirited friendship year after year. (PART 1)
Gavin Frye
February 20, 2024
Jim Mihaley had the rare combination of having passion for his own writing and enthusiasm for his students work.

Whenever i read my work Jim listened.

Jim, I was privileged to know you and to create in your presence.
Susan Schwartz Twiggs
February 20, 2024
Door County 2023
Sarah E. Meisinger
February 20, 2024
I had the privilege of meeting James through Write On Door County and a writing workshop he led and later an online forum for a small group of writers who wanted to continue to learn from him. His presence and all that he embodied is best describe for me as kindness. He emitted a genuine "come as you are" energy and unconditional love and positive regard for others. He happened to share that he helped to create a short film about the homelessness crisis in San Francisco. I viewed it (Fog) and was immediately touched by the reminder of our shared humanity and the true value of our stories. I asked Jim's permission to share the film with my social work students to inspire them to act and to find ways to make a difference in their work and lives. Jim's life and his work are an inspiration, and I am eternally grateful I got to meet him.
Sarah E Meisinger
February 20, 2024
James is someone who I had only met very few times, but whose kindness had a profound impact on me. James had a magical and contagious levity about him. Even the most brief interactions with James would make my day. Only 5 weeks before his passing, James did me an extraordinary favor and act of kindness. Despite having only met me a small handful of times, James supported me by watching my dog, Lady, in an emergency situation where my dog-sitter had fallen through last minute while I was out of the country. This was a lot of work and inconvenience to James and I gave him many and multiple "out's" if it was going to be too much for him, but he insisted and refused to let me find myself in a situation where I would end my trip early. He took such extraordinary care not just for Lady, but also for me. He told me that I "gave him the beautiful gift of getting to show up for someone in a time of need," and emphasized that this was a gift from me to him. I didn't know he was struggling and am heartbroken that I wasn't able to show up for him in his time of need. I will forever hold this man in my heart as a shining example of fierce care and love, purely for the sake of care and love. What a world this would be if more people showed up the way James did.
Lauren Galea
February 19, 2024
James was a bright light in this world with exceptional gifts.

I feel honored to have met James and to have been part of a spiritual growth group with James for a couple months. I'll never forget how connected he was to spirit. How his words touched me, how they were always exactly what my soul needed to hear. It felt like magical channeled words from beyond the here and now, messages from my guides. I was blown away by the light, love and energy whenever he spoke.

There were many vulnerable moments in our group and I remember how safe I felt to be seen by James, the first time for me by the masculine, which was a new experience for me in a coed group. James was part of a pivotal portion of my journey when I needed it most. I remember the way he described the journey I was on, assured me when I was feeling lost, and provided hope, acceptance and love.

James was a unique gift in this world, bringing light wherever he went, seeing the truth and beauty within others.

The world is less bright without you in it, James. Thank you for everything. I will carry you and the moments with you throughout my journey.

Brooke Richardson
February 19, 2024
James quite literally lent me a helping hand from the moment we arrived to Venice, carrying in a delivery with me on move-in day. This set the tone and high standard of neighborly friendliness and respect that James upheld every day.

He was there for us for whatever we needed - especially when it came to checking in on our cat Anouk, who he said he loved (“Honestly, any time you need: I love that cat!”)

James cared about being a good neighbor to us, in the way I imagine he cared about being a good neighbor more generally, to his community and his friends around the world.

James was generous, gentle, kind, and reliable. We will strive to uphold these qualities.

Thank you for being there for us James. You will always embody what it means to be a good neighbor - in every sense of the phrase.
Ines Novacic
February 18, 2024
You were a kind, loving, gentle and patient soul, who never spoke a judgmental or negative thing. Your call in life was to spread light, hope and love into this world; with divine superhuman, patience, and grace.
You’re a defining catalyst in my life’s journey to courageously step out of the world I built and step into my journey of becoming a transformed me as you saw me; a storyteller sent to share a message of hope, grace, potential and love to the world. You believed this was a common cause that called us to work together. You became my guide, encouraging me over that mental bridge from fear to faith, doubt to doable, hurt to healing. You stood in certainty there is a great story inside me that just has to come out, and has to be told and shared in this world. That is the message you have for everyone. I wish we had gotten further in our project and journey together; but some lessons are learned the hard way. We were walking over that creative bridge together, but for some reason you believed I was ready to continue this journey alone. You have let go of my hand, smiled and said “you got this” given me a big hug, let go, and now you have ascended on into the universe. I don’t think you had your timing right, but you always said “don’t worry, it will be done in perfect timing”, so I know you know best. Your message will carry on, your encouragement, gentleness, and love will show through in the lives, and work of those, you have influenced and touched. You left me with one last valuable lesson, I can treat time carelessly thinking we have more than we do wasting what is most precious, spending time with the best of people on this earth like you. I am grateful for the conversations, memories and time we shared; experiencing the kind way you uniquely cared. You introduced me to the message of Tao de Ching, this reminds me of you.
The master observes the world, but he trusts his internal vision. He allows things to come and go his heart is as open as the sky.
The Phoenix Rises Still
February 17, 2024
With James living next door to us, Venice felt like a neighborhood from day 1.

Never hesitating to lend a helping hand, James was always selfless and generous with his time and energy.

I always enjoyed my conversations with James, especially as he kept me company by the grill at our bbqs. His clarity of communication, his quirky humor, and his relentless positivity were all uniquely James.

Upon exchanging children’s books, I feel I got to know James better through his writing, where his connection to his inner child and lighthearted humor shine through.

This neighborhood won’t feel the same ever again but stories of this legendary neighbor will live on!
Leon Rost
February 17, 2024
I still clearly remember the feeling I had 10 or 11 years ago now, when James read his poem, The Yogi Manifesto, at the graduation ceremony of a Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training course at Yoga West. I had goosebumps and my jaw (both metaphorically and actually) was agape. The wisdom and compassion of the words, and the power and grace and love with which he delivered them was incredibly powerful.

I continued to see those exact same qualities in every subsequent interaction I'd had with James. He was sensitive, and full of love. He had a strong sense of clarity about what the world could and should be. And is art was how he communicated his strong convictions with a unique blend of humor and cosmic seriousness.

James's energy, that mix of depth and lightness, of love and lightness, was not just unique and special, but it was powerful. It was potent. And it was such a force for good in the world.

I am so sad that his lightness of being will no longer be the gift to the rest of us that it had been. That the world will not have the blessing of his gifts in it any longer. We are all poorer now for that lose.

James was an amazing light. What a loss.
Amrit Khalsa
February 17, 2024
James had a remarkable ability to recognize and celebrate the uniqueness of others. He could see the true qualities in individuals that often went unrecognized, and he had the gift of expressing appreciation in just the right words. His words of affirmation were like soul balm, lifting spirits and leaving a lasting impact on those fortunate enough to know him.

James's ability to be commit to a better tomorrow, being true, tender, and deeply meaningful in his interactions touched the hearts of all who knew him. Me included.

But what I hope we remember most is the kindness James radiated. He was an inspirational creator in so many senses, but above all, I'll remember James as an exquisite artist of kindness.

He will be deeply missed.
Emilia Jagat Prem
February 17, 2024

After a decade of treasured friendship, I find myself contemplating the profound influence James had on both my life and the broader world. His steadfast dedication to justice, consciousness, and love has left an enduring impression. Upon entering his apartment posthumously, I was profoundly moved by the evident sincerity of his pursuit to be a virtuous person and his unwavering commitment to cultivating a better, kinder, and more beautiful world.

Each book, note, and project within his space echoed this ethos. A poignant photo on his fridge showcased a list honoring Black Lives Matter—an embodiment of James's empathy and his aspiration for substantive change. His possessions reflected a keen awareness of the world's suffering and a genuine desire to contribute to a more compassionate and loving world. His book, 'The New Yogi,' encapsulates everything James held dear: 'Love.'

In the aftermath of his departure, I've come to recognize the profound impact and transformative potential of grief. It has opened me to a deeper connection with those around me, emphasizing the impermanence of our human existence and the importance of living in the present rather than fixating on an idealized future. The legacy of James's spirit will forever be cherished and held close to my heart.
James Price
February 7, 2024
Here is the passage from the boatyard book that I created into a brief poem for James earlier this year. To me, it was an example of his extraordinary attunement to all things involving depth and the human journey - and his astonishing voice as a writer. Reading it now, there are some powerful parallels with the experience he was having in the last few months of his life as he was doing everything he could to navigate his own dark night of the soul.

GLIDING ON
The old confidence comes surging back,
like the wind in a sail.
For a moment
he had been stranded with his fear,
like all men are at one point or another,
and you must wait for the wind to return.
You must sit there by yourself
in the still water of doubt and regret,
in the middle of the sea,
in the middle of your own heart,
with the fog closing in,
until finally the sails stir.
They ripple and billow
and you glide on.
Gavin Frye
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