cc by Alexander Edward Genaud
or Poetic License

(6'05" 8.4M mp3)

I have only met Erin a couple of times over the years,
  and never twice,
  in the same country.

Yet, Erin is the most fascinating person
  I have every spoken with.

She's passionate,
  and her mind...
Erin thinks on so many levels
  at the same time.
Not always about the most practical things,
  but abstract,
  sometimes very deep,
  and poetic.

And sometimes her subtly is only realised,
  long after her words were spoken.

I feel very fortunate that
  much of our conversations were in writing.
Because otherwise,
  I would have misunderstood most of what Erin was saying.

Erin wanted to change the world for the better.
  And I believe that was well understood
  by most people who have met her.

I'd like to share one such story.

Now, I have to preface any story about an adventure
  with Erin by beginning:

"You're not going to believe this,
  but it's all perfectly true.
  I was there."

Five years ago,
  on my way from Guatemala to Denmark,
  I stopped by Israel.

Because, catching up with Erin,
   is like playing Carmen Sandiago,
   a world wide game of twister,
   an unbounded hide and seek.

While one rarely knew where Erin was or
  what she was doing,
  one could be certain
  that it was a extraordinary.

Erin was in the process of becoming Catholic
  and was scheduled to be
  Baptised in Boston in the Spring,
  so in the meantime,
  she took the opportunity to
  try out being a Jew for a while.

Of course what better place to exercise
  both Catholicism and Judaism,
  than to visit the Holy Land.

And while on a Jewish retreat
  among many other things,
  Erin wanted to help the poor
  including the Palestinians.

Perhaps that lead to some conflict of opinion.

You see Erin was perfectly aware of
  structures and boundaries,
  or at least
  she was aware that everyone else
  seemed to agree that boundaries existed,
  but she simply chose not to believe in them.

Country borders, religious denominations, race, gender,
  even languages were just artificial barriers between
  two people or many.

Erin wanted to tear down walls and bring people together.
  She believed that that was one of
  the core tenants of all religion.

To cut through the bullshit,
  love all without prejudice,
  give generously,
  and seek harmony,
  with and for everyone.
And she was right.
  But not everyone agreed.

And sometimes the more she tried to
  break social structures
  and chains around her,
  the tighter those same
  chains were applied to her own wrists.

I think that was her great struggle.
  Opening minds.

So, anyway, Erin and I rented a car and
  drove around Israel.

We saw some ancient sites,
  hiked in the desert,
  visited towns that you might know from the Bible
  and floated in the Dead Sea.

But what I remember best was back in Jerusalem.

Let me tell you...
There is no more magical experience possible than
  walking around the ancient city of Jerusalem
  with Erin.

She will make you believe in a
  power far greater than yourself.
A truly religious experience.
  I mean it.
  Down on your knees, arms in the air, in awe.
I won't try to explain that.

So, after submitting our prayers in the Western Wall,
  having been escorted out of the Haram al-Sharif,
  the Temple Mount, by Israeli military,
  we visited the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
  and attended mass.

We were just two of about a dozen participants in
  the beautiful old cathedral.

The service was a bit long
  and it was in Arabic
  and Erin wanted to stay to the end
  in fact, she urgently wanted to chat with
  the Archbishop of Jerusalem.

Eventually we were invited to a
  private discussion with His Excellency

Erin related the miracles of life
  and the glories of the Universe.

These two beings discussed everything
   and nothing for quite some time.

I suppose the Archbishop or the auxiliary bishop thought
   that the conversation might not have been
   abstract enough,
   so he asked:

"Erin, what is your relationship to Jesus?"

Erin answered as best she could
  and continued to explain that she thought

Jesus on the Cross
  symbolised a tree
  rooted in the Earth
  reaching up toward heaven.
This tree represented nature,
   our relationship to nature,
   and transcendence;
Transcendence not from nature,
   but transcendence from our selves.
Perhaps Jesus thought we needed to
   take better care of God's creation.
Jesus's death on the Cross and redemption
  was a message for the modern world.
Our Earth is bleeding,
  and needs to be resurrected.

The gentleman representing
  the Catholic Church listened attentively.
I believe he was surprised by
  Erin's interpretation of the Gospel.
With some concern for Erin, he said:
  "Erin, God created this world for your enjoyment."
  You should simply ask, "God, what do you want?"

I suppose this was meant to comfort Erin
  and it was well received.

It was my opinion at that moment,
  that God had already told Erin what God wanted and
  Erin was there to share
  with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
  what God wanted.

And it was Good.

cc by Alexander Edward Genaud or Poetic License

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