Monday, August 16, 2004

.... 1999 I was at Greenbelt alone - without Joan or the Sheilas. Joan had broke her leg some time before and she was not then up and at 'em.

Simon our Level Five Friend was dying - he had decided to come off dialysis because it was causing so much pain and he knew he was not living - nor his family - Ann, Ben aged5 and Mae under one year old.

I was walking around Greenbelt with Simon on my mind. He had been one of the team when I first started the Rolling Magazine Show there some 15 years earlier. Books and tours all came from that start. He was with me as I walked the late night paths and grass of the Festival site. He was in my soul as I entered the big top - dark - loud -vibe-full.

Bruce Cockburn was on the big-top stage as I walked slowly through the massed attentive crowd.
He sung these words and they were like a spear through my side .............;

"In Japanese temple -
There was a single orange blossom
At the wrong time of year -
Seemed like a sign -
When I looked again
It was gone"

It reduced me to shudders and tears - this was Simon.
A beautiful creation
A beautiful human
A beautiful orange blossom
And he was gone ...............

I will never forget that Greenbelt
That concert
That moment
That spiritual moment
That lyrical line

........ and he was gone .................

Simon died on 2nd August 1999 (Greenbelt was earlier that year at the end of July)
Joan and I went to the Christening of Mae in the house of Simon.
He died before she was one years old.
See the family picture on my website (Level 5 link) or just put 'Simon slade' into google.

he was 35