My Friend Jonathan Rowe (1946-2011): An Appreciation
It is rare for a political activist and a poet to cohabit the same body. Rarer still for that strange hybrid to intersect with my life and share my journey. Which is why I was so privileged to work with my friend Jonathan Rowe – and why I am going to miss him a great deal.
On Saturday morning Jon went off to the gym, as he often did, and came home not feeling well. By the evening he had a scorching fever and went to the hospital. By Sunday morning, he was gone. He was 65 and leaves behind his wife Mary Jean and young son Josh.
Jon’s sudden, unexpected death underscores something that he understood well: our fixation on the big abstractions – politics, economics, wealth – tends to blind us to the fragile and beautiful realities of human existence, whose intrinsic importance cannot be denied....must not be denied.
As someone blessed with a capacious mind and soul, Jon clearly recognized the brutal necessities of politics while honoring the immanent truths of the spiritual. He also had the clarity of mind to realize that while the two realms may never be reconciled or integrated, neither can they ever be disconnected. Jon’s life was to wrestle with this koan.