“The leaves of our blessed lives fall to the ground and if we’re wise … we gather them in a pile and keep them safe lest the winds of forgetfulness blow them away.”
— Philip Gulley
Jack’s one of a kind, many times over. Ever since our days together at East 15 Acting School, I have known some of these Jacks. Each is a leaf in my blessed life which I now gather in a pile lest my winds of forgetfulness blow them away.
Jack the caring curmudgeon;
Jack the exasperated deflator of theatrical pomposity;
Jack the seeker of honesty;
Jack the Dad who loved and tried;
Jack the earnest conversationalist;
Jack the skilled stretcher of a dole cheque;
Jack the lifelong musician;
Jack the succinct sage;
Jack the ‘Technique’ Alpha to the ‘Method’ Omega;
Jack the mate to troubled teens;
Jack the punk;
Jack the best Bad Fairy ever;
Jack the burner of sofas;
Jack the closet cowboy and Western lover;
Jack the sharer of large bar tabs;
Jack the perpetual wearer of Doc Martens;
Jack the loving son in the RAF club;
Jack the encyclopedia of popular music;
Jack the groom whom I best-manned;
Jack the innocent who asked me how the internet worked;
Jack my friend who died and left a hole in many lives.
More by heart and guesswork than reason, I sense Jack carried more than most could manage or fully understand – melancholia echoing from a different time, frustrations with why the world didn’t work his way and some deep dislocation that he could never seem to express.
In a world that leaks and dribbles grace into the cracks of our indifference, Jack had a bruised and persistent grace that touched those who chose to look below the surface. Jack’s grace was in his reflection and kindness, his music and his passion, his mad-cappery and his jester’s japes and the brutal honesty of the friendship we shared.
I trust that as ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ plays for Jack next week, God takes Jack at his word and extends His unceasing grace to my gracious friend.