Once Upon a Time I Knew a Magic Man

Remember a while ago when I referenced my Describing the Imagination Professor?

“Under the gentle guidance of a universally-beloved 80-year-old British professor,  we studied theory of children’s imagination and discovery and examined children’s stories an artwork as we would have a literary classic. He allowed us the freedom to make our final product a creative endeavor,” and then I wrote about the screen play I had wrote this past summer.

This is him reading Calvino to us around the campfire:



This is the two of us at the end of term celebration. IMG_7229

He asked me to send me my screenplay so that he could read it again at more leisure when he got back to England. I was planning to clean it up and revise it for a film festival that fall, before sending it to him. Then life got nuts, and I put it off for another time. Except that I got word in March he had passed away suddenly.

It didn’t seem real at first, but as the weeks past, I found myself increasingly unsettled. Times in the past that I have left a beloved professor or teacher, I have often been able to get in touch with them for questions or guidance, or returned for a visit or a chat. The fact that Michael is gone still seems like an impossibility. His influence and inspiration permeated so much  more of my own than I ever could have imagined, including the trickle-down effect to my students. In making sense of my own grief I wrote a song for him, which I have (roughly) recorded and linked below. The lyrics are linked in the song description on YouTube. In the absence of a better title, I have simply titled it “For Michael.”

Published by Erin

Writer, teacher, composer with a passion for traveling, coffee, and a good book.

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