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Ysobelle
07-29-2011, 04:49 PM
I sent this to Vyxen to be read with the other tributes at the service.



I think the first thing many, many people will say when you ask them about John is, “Oh—those letters.” We talk about them in a tone of awe—who, after all, literally sets pen to paper any more? Who actually pulls out parchment and ink and sets words down by hand? But that was John. Those letters were a perfect synecdoche of what he was: old-fashioned in a grand manner, a deliberate revival of a lovely ideal, full of colour and courtliness and…well, confetti.

I remember the first letters I got from John, before he good-naturedly (I hope) gave up on me and my eternal promises that I’d actually send one of the replies I was constantly composing in my head. (The irony of my writing this on a computer and sending it with no more effort than the tap of a button is not lost on me.) I learned very quickly that one needed to open the beautifully inked and waxed envelopes very carefully: preferably over the sink, and never anywhere near the cats or the long-haired dog. But then one day, a fairly fat envelope arrived, and somehow, I forgot the rule. I sat myself down, and opened the letter, happily looking forward to another pirate-bunny-stamped missive—and something launched out of that envelope aimed straight for my face. If you once heard, from somewhere north of you, a noise akin to the ear-shattering shriek of an eight-year-old girl facing down a live tarantula, that was me.

John had, with his wicked sense of humour and, I imagine, a wicked little boy grin, put into that envelope a wind-up flying butterfly. The kind powered by a rubber band, which he’d wound up to within an inch of its life. Yes, I will admit—partly because I am hundreds of miles away and don’t have to look any of you in the eye—that I screamed. And then? Then I laughed. Once again, John had surprised and delighted me.

We didn’t always see eye to eye. Unfortunately, one of our more recent exchanges was when I looked him in the metaphorical, Facebook eye and said, “You, me: no more political conversations. Ever.” He accepted that with grace, and we never had such a discussion again. John showed absolutely no resentment there, and his manners never failed—another trait I came to expect from him.

The concept that not only will I never get another letter, but that there is no John at a desk somewhere to write a letter, is baffling to me. I can’t quite comprehend it. Though he’d given up on me and my pixellated ways, I knew my friends still got his epistolary gifts, and I was content with that. I can’t imagine that he’s not at a Faire somewhere, raising a tankard and a song and a good friend’s spirits.

But as is the nature of someone larger than life, he is. He’s always sending a letter. He’s always at a Faire. He’s always in our family, in our brains and our hearts and our spirits, in our songs and our pub sings…and our mailboxes.

Requiescat in Pace, my Rogueish friend. I raise my quill to you.

Nikki Cohen, known as Ysobelle, Wench 111, Madame of Local #9, Pennsylvania.

AnnaFaerie
07-29-2011, 06:21 PM
This made me cry. I wish I had known him.

Thistle
07-31-2011, 03:21 AM
I, too, wish I had known him.

he's still composing letters, Yso. The mail is slow. and he's at Faire, just around the corner and out of sight