Monday, June 22, 2009

For Vivian

I am feeling rather sad, and ashamed. I learned this weekend that my friend Vivian Dhaliwal is no longer with us, and I am sad for that. Ashamed, because Vivian has been gone since October last year, and I did not know: distance is no excuse for not keeping in touch, that is what the internet is for, and I am very sorry that I have not reached out to Vivian's close family as they reached out to me in a time of my own need many years ago, when they opened their home to me during a very painful trip back to England, and shared the warmth of their family love.

Vivian was an inspiration to so many people.
Vivian was martial-arts strong, and so gentle.
Vivian was funny and clever and full of love for her family, her friends and her art.

When I first knew Vivian, we had never met, but she inspired me simply by being the highest-graded martial artists in a style that had very few women practitioners (it was called Goyararu then, and we trained in Oakham school hall, first with John Willams and then with Paul Smith, who later moved to New Zealand). Just by "being there", she helped me strive to become the best that I could--and to prove others wrong. And it became part of my core being; that part of me does not disappear, despite time away from the dojo over the years, despite injuries and moving-again and growing older every year. And now looking at pictures from Tetsudo events, seeing how many women are involved now, it's obvious how very, very much she has done for so many.

Thank you, Vivian, from the bottom of my heart. (And yes, I still work the weights like you showed me!)

My love to Dhali, and to Dev and Arun.

No comments: