It's taken me a little time to process Jim's Passing. He was a big man in my world, in many ways. Although I haven't seen him or Lisa in a few years, his spirit and character have always kept a space in my heart large enough to accommodate that rolling laugh, his giant smile, gentle energy and worldly inspiration.
I feel truly blessed to have known Jim, he was a solid male role model for me throughout a tumultuous childhood. His art and his love for the wilderness, his positive energy and appreciation of world culture was a much needed baseline for me growing up. As a kid, going to Jim and Lisa’s shop to do some beading or drawing or just hanging out to peruse through the myriad crystals, trade beads, ceremonial accoutrements, sages and Jim’s mandalas was always a calm place of reflection, of inspiration and a place of being held.
I am still benefiting today from Jim and Lisa’s friendship with our family, my knowledge of the most epic crystal clear swimming holes, basalt cathedrals in the side of high altitude mountains, where the lushest mosses and most vibrant mushrooms bloom, where the tenderest fiddleheads sprout and when those green jewel pacific tree frogs start hanging out under the juiciest wild huckleberries.
My mother ultimately gave me the gift of feeling and at times seeing energies surrounding earth, plant and animal dynamic but in many ways, it was Jim’s art that gave me some of my first inspirations on how to express that onto paper and canvas.
Not being able to gather, to see all of you, to be around each other to talk, catch up, meet and forge new friendships and family is really tough for me. This time we’re in of having to take physical space from one another to flatten the curve is completely throwing me out of the loop given this situation. So many of my experiences being with Jim and Lisa have been about gathering, and in doing so having that opportunity to intentionally share that positive energy through personal connection and presence. I hope that some time soon, we have the ability to gather in Jim’s honor, and in Lisa’s too. To know Jim is to know Lisa as they were ever so much each others yin and yang. I’ve always, since I was a little kid looked up to those two as “who I wanna be like when I grow up”, I still do.
From the Catalani’s, Stringham’s, Dugas’ and Bakers To Lisa and the Pattersons and Jim’s family and to all of us friends and community: I love you, I’m thinking of you, and I’m so grateful for having this connection with you. May Jim rest in the Mt. Jefferson wind’s that blow through Boca cave, the cascades of our beloved opal creek and in the earth energy that heats Breitenbush.