Monday, March 12, 2018

Cecile's story will live on through Póilin (Puppet)

Life can be so amazing, 

and sad, and inspiring, 

and full of contradictions 

and syncronicities all at the same time.

Cecilia Maier Gilchrest March 23, 1944 - March 03, 2018

The past few days I have finally started to put words and images together for my first talk in Nottingham Puppet Festival. The thoughts were well formed in my mind. I just hadn't found the moment yet to put the thoughts in order and into a presentation.

Friday was the day 'it happened'.
The thoughts, and the many notes I had made during the past 6 weeks of pretty much 'hugging the couch', were put in a reasonably orderly manner on a large blank page!

One of the notes I found were by my friend Cecile

"What an auspicious way to begin spring*. 
The energy that propels you so gracefully to give the gift of puppets to others."

* 21st March is first day of spring in USA & Holland anyway

21st March also happens to be World Puppetry Day.

My first talk is on the 23rd March. Cecile's birthday.

Yesterday I added a very short film to my presentation, of Cecile and Póilin Puppet having a moment of deep connection.
A few hours later I heard that Cecile had passed away on the 3rd March.

Rest in peace my dear friend.

Cecile and I met last month for the first time. But we had been in contact via email, and via our spiritual beings for over two years. Read her/our story here. It is beautiful.

"And then we stood on the wall, held hands, 
and flew in one of the most beautiful dreams of my life."

Cecile Gilchrest

In short, the book-in-a-box format of my book Into the Light  was conceived in room 4 of the Care Centre at Dzogchen Beara. Cecile stayed in room 4 a few months after the book was officiallly launched there. She connected with the words and images, and with the author on a very deep level. When made aware of the connection with the very room, email contact was initiated.

How beautiful a journey we have had over the past two and a half years. Not beautiful in terms of our health challenges, but beautiful to develop a deep understanding of our lives, and the way we find ways to live the best way we can.

We often shared a 'cup of tea', while I'd sit beside her bed.
All via our emails and thoughts, as Cecile lived in the USA, I am in Ireland.

We often shared 'virtual' time in the conservatory of room 4 at the Care Centre. Again in our thoughts, and with the idea, that ONE day, we will actually be together.

It became a reality.

We booked a stay at the Care Centre for the first week in February 2018. Cecile was accompanied by her daughter Monique and friend Dolores (Dee). They travelled all the way from the USA.

I am so immensely grateful for having had time with Cecile.
We talked. Cried. Laughed. Hung out.
Unfortunately I was ill during my stay, so didn't get to spend as much time as I would have hoped, but we met every day in room 4!

Last year we realized we also both have a connection with puppetry.
Cecile used puppetry until the age of 26. She clearly never lost her skills, as watching her animate my puppet Póilin, was just pure magic. I had only seen my puppet as an object I was working on.
In Cecile's hands she came alive.
So, Póilin was truly born on the 2nd February 2018.

Thank you Cecile.
Your story, and stories, and I have many in my head and heart, will live on through Póilin.

Rest peacefully my dear friend.
It has been an honour to have been part of your life.


12th March 2018


Unknown said...

Thank you for this wonderful memory of my dear friend and former ballroom dancing partner Cecile. Your reflections are a perfect representation of who she is. Thanks, Matthew

Corina Duyn said...

Many thanks Mattew

I am very sorry that I didnot see your comment until today.
I shared a tiny snippet of a video of Cecile and my puppet Poilin on my facebook page and instagram. Cecile gave her her first breath. Cecilce lives on in Poilin.

Best wishes