You were the fourth of our triumvirate
Our short-lived little fellowship
You were present, but you were casual, aloof
You were our dogmatic imprimatur, brilliant
You knew more about everything
Loved by Metropolitans, a promising young voice
Wary of experts, challenged by parish ministry
And there we were… an unlikely duo.
We never met, face to face.
I can’t recall the sound of your voice.
But through many late evenings and nights we would chat
About everything: people, theologians, music, politics
You taught me about Florovsky and Heidegger
I taught you about dealing with parishioners
And still we talked on about lots of stuff.
Now that I think about it,
We did actually talk by phone near the end
We talked about meeting for a beer in Boston, near the end.
O God. Why?
Four years gone and I am still asking why
So many of the particulars are so damn frustrating
So many of the events are so horribly fresh
The news (I’m sitting right where I was when I found out)
Our face to face was at your funeral
Your face was hid; I kissed your hand.
That funeral. We talked, near the end, about how much
You hated our funeral
You wanted pascha, not food for worms and stench.
How ironic, that one of our last would be about that.
How fitting that in your own service you got what you wanted.
Your service. God.
Today is not the anniversary of your passing.
But it is for me.
For me you have passed from chronos to kairos.
You are defined by liturgical time.
You died on the Sunday night of the
Sunday of Orthodoxy
And that night will always bring us
To talk about Barth, and Kate Bush and Florovsky
And nosy and mean parishioners (yours, not mine)
Meanwhile, I press on in chronos
I miss your depth of thought
Most of all, I, selfishly, miss your presence.
For as short as it was, it was indelible.
Memory eternal, dear Brother and Concelebrant,