Friday, December 5, 2014


Today is the sixth anniversary of the start of Ivaan's journey, leaving the planet behind, along with all the earthly things he loved. I miss him acutely, and yet I'm so reminded of him, especially here in Atelier Ivaan, that he doesn't actually seem far away.  Today a very close friend of ours sent me an email about him.  Here is what she wrote:

          miss his jokes, his hilarious way of describing things with such 
          exactness. I miss the way he laughed with his shoulders and without
          making a sound in hopes of being able to laugh longer without
          coughing. I miss his particularity with food both in presentation and
          taste. I miss his big heavy winter jacket that made him look like the
          Hulk. (I never told him that, but I think he would have liked the
          comparison). I miss the way he teased you endlessly, especially in
          public, in his own way of complimenting you. I miss the way he looked
          so sharp in black and grew more handsome as he aged. I miss his
          admiration of old cameras that, if I recall correctly, were somewhat
          useless.  I miss the way his eyes sparkled when he was feeling
          particularly mischievous. I miss his eternal creativity and beauty he
          brought to the world. I miss the way he lived in the present to the
          absolute fullest and by his presence he enabled others to do the
          same.  When I see him again, I will ask him if he wouldn't mind making me a
          sandwich with "two kinds of cheese!"

I couldn't have summed it up better.  I remember exactly what she meant, especially about his shoulders shaking as he tried not to laugh out loud, so as not to trigger a painful choking episode.  I remember his constant teasing, and his eternal hope that the next camera he bought on eBay was going to be in perfect condition, and his inevitable disappointment when it wasn't.  "They said it was 'as is', he would grumble. "They should have said, 'as isn't'."

In memory of Ivaan, I thought I'd post a few snapshots of him over the years. Most of them are somewhere on the blog already, but it's nice to see them all at once: a trip down memory lane.
Ivaan and his sister in 1945.

Ivaan as a beatnik, centre right, at Harbord C.I.,  age 17
Ivaan, age 17, at Harbord C.I.

Ivaan at home circa 1963

Ivaan, 1986
Ivaan, circa 1972
Ivaan's first trip to Ukraine, 1979
Ivaan and me, 1986
Ivaan and me, 1986
Ivaan and me, 1993
our wedding reception, 1995
Ivaan, age 16

Ivaan christening Mariana, 2000
Ivaan in Cuba, 2001
Ivaan in Cuba, 2001

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