Tag Archives: goodbye

Goodbye, Arden Dale, July 29, 1959 – July 13, 2014

This is turning out to be a less than stellar year for news of friends. I realized today that I’d missed the birthday of my best friend from high school, so I went to her Facebook page to leave her a late birthday greeting — only to see picture upon picture with memories and goodbyes.

Arden
Arden in The Cloisters, 1989/90

We hadn’t been part of each others’ lives for a long time, and I hadn’t seen her in about 20 years. But she was incredibly important to me during difficult and formative years, and I would not be the person I am now without her. I wish so much that we could have seen each other again. Last year, we missed both being in Oregon at the same time by a couple of weeks.

Birthday party
A surprise birthday party Arden organized for me in high school

Here’s a poem I wrote for her almost 30 years ago now:

Alone
I sit in the sun
watching the lizard
in stripes of gray and brown
with a truncated tail
scuttle along
the sun-baked stone wall
at my back.
The lizard lost it,
but what did she need it for?
It will grow back
alone.
She is resilient.

These are the contents
of content:
I have myself,
the lizard,
the sun,
the wall,
the pen in my hand
to reach a friend
halfway around the world.

She has not seen the lizard,
though she knows the wall.

Arden Dale and Ruth Nestvold
Arden taking me to the airport for Germany, 1978

Goodbye, Ardie.