In Memoriam: Our Dear Friend, bell hooks (1952-2021)

Yesterday (December 15, 2021) 
The world lost a great seer. 
My wife, Peggy, and I 
Lost a dear friend
And colleague
At Berea College
Too soon.

bell hooks was brilliant.
She lit up the world
And Jackson Street
No less 
Just down from our place
There in Central Kentucky.

Countless times 
She graced our kitchen table
Over 15 years together 
Just the 3 of us
Breaking Peggy’s French bread
Or at larger gatherings 
On special occasions.

bell introduced Berea
To Cornel West
In a living room soiree
I’ll not forget
And to Laverne Cox
And Emma Watson.
bell was a celebrity too
Beyond any of them
But you'd never know it.

Always up 
For deep conversation 
About issues,
Feminism for everyone 
And liberation,
The sprite in her
Found yet more energy 
For gossip and trash talk.
She was nothing
If not great fun.

“Let’s recite our favorite poems” 
She’d suggest.
Or “talk about 
Our romantic relationships,”
She’d grin
With that wicked twinkle
In her mischievous eyes.

And we’d obey.
We did!
Poems one after another.
And one night
At that kitchen table 
In darkness
Relieved by candlelight
Eight or so grave professors
Bared secrets
About just that
Our romances!
Can you imagine?
Extraordinary and memorable.
And so she was.

bell showed it 
In her books and lectures
That changed the world.
Didn’t they?
Didn't she?
They transformed
Berea College students,
And all who read and heard
Across the planet.
They changed me and Peggy.

More than anything however, 
bell hooks was a seeker
With infinite energy
For prayer and meditation
And the goddess
Understood as Pure Love
Absolutely forgiving
Creator of a world
With room for everyone
Feminist or not
..
So, rest in peace
Dear friend,
And sister
Dear teacher
And prophet.
Dear author
And speaker,
Dear fellow traveler
And seeker.
Diminutive giant of a woman,
We love you,
Dearest bell.
We are grateful
For your gifts
And most of all,
For your 
Rare goddess grace.

Published by

Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog

Emeritus professor of Peace & Social Justice Studies. Liberation theologian. Activist. Former R.C. priest. Married for 45 years. Three grown children. Six grandchildren.

2 thoughts on “In Memoriam: Our Dear Friend, bell hooks (1952-2021)”

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