Sunday, January 4, 2009

losing friends

Goodbyes. It seems we don't often get to say goodbye to the people who have helped form us along our path in life. Twice in the last year I have lost important souls along my artistic journey. Both came without warning, both I stumbled upon the news. 

I knew Terry Toedtemeier in the mid 1980's. He was a photography instructor at PNCA and the curator of photography at the Portland Art Museum. He was such a genuine and robust soul that his persona was deeply magnetic. Terry was quirky, passionate about his art, a gear-head, fine cook, and always seemed to have time for anyone with a heart. He was a very good friend of my college boyfriend so I got the good fortune of getting to know him better (being that I was an Illustration major, and my boyfriend was a photography major). I enjoyed going to his house, crazy trips into the desert, and learned a deep appreciation for basalt and geology of Oregon - specifically the Columbia River Gorge. My boyfriend was not only a talented photographer but also a talented carpenter, so I found myself at Terry's often as Terry was remodeling his home with my boyfriend doing much of the carpentry. The time I spent with him was punctuated with laughter, unbelievable quantities of obscure facts, and penetrating artistic vision.

Terry taught me about many things. But most importantly he taught me to be passionate, patient, true to oneself, and to love life. His loss will be felt for years to come. I am grateful that I was so blessed to spend time with him, to learn from him, to share a bit of his beautiful life.

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