When Oliver dropped out of high school, after his sophomore year, he went to UConn. We never understood why, other than the obvious, that the main campus was our back yard, and he didn’t like to drive, or use toilets outside our home.
He thought the whole academic degree industry was suspiciously rooted in Win-Lose Game Theory assumptions, which didn’t necessarily have to be true if we would all just wake up some morning and decide to go with Win-Win instead. Even so, he sailed through his GED exams and then spent over a year deciding whether to take some classes at UConn, or just continue writing prose and lyrics and gaming on-line with his intercontinental team, with a representative from each populated continent except Africa–an exception that he found not just irritating but actually embarrassing.
About the time he was deciding not to go back for his junior year, Oliver shared his “Dear Ego” letter with me. We were both surprised, I think, because he almost never wanted me to read his work, or play, as he preferred to think of it. But, this one he correctly thought I would find helpful:
Please notice that “evil” is not only “live” spelled backwards, but it also is backward, or the reverse of, healthy living.
You do your evil, not-live, acts to test me, to learn justice, when you are wise enough to listen to our eco-logical response.
You evil out of ignoring y/our larger interdependent identity, to discover your individual and collective responsibilities, potential integrity, how and when and whom both live and not-live choices coalesce and differentiate.
Evil is about what and whom we don’t do and become that we could do, we could become, with sufficient power, individually and collectively.
You do not do evil to learn the causes and effects of generosity, to uncover our individual v. collective accountability for gratitude, for mutual redemption.
You both do and do not evil to mutually mentor fair balance of redemptive generosity, mercy, kindness, giving care, nurturing; to evolve Us, your SuperEco Co-Intelligence, to proactively practice peaceful resolutions, love’s fully inclusive resonance through time’s healing, synergy’s revolution.
You and I deliver this not-live evil of climatic competitive transactions, relationships,to spring loose love’s cooperative Boddhisatva Occupation of Earth’s eco-logically harmonious co-arising habitat.
Namaste my Beloved Sub-Climaxing Community.
Your Left-Hand Dominant Right Brain,
I don’t know if this was a suicide note, or why I found this copy in front of his cold not-living, but still generously beautiful, body. It’s not even clear to me that Oliver’s death was a suicide, at least not as we usually understand this violence and sadness and despair against one’s future.
The medical examiner said he had never seen anything like it, although he had read an account of a chronically depressed dolphin living in captivity, who signed farewell to a favorite caregiver and then simply stopped inhaling air. Apparently that’s what Oliver did, or chose to not do anymore.
I miss Oliver’s deep beauty, his humor, brilliant integrity, even his profound sadness about our climatic disarray, our chronic insufficiency of loving the cooperative juice of eco-logical health flowing through his veins and neural system.
How I wish that I could redeem his not-live lack of healthy loving environment enough to persuade him to take in one more breath. But, Oliver was always like that. Not confidant that he deserved to breathe the polluted air he inherited from me, from us, from our choices.
I wish we had planted trees together. It was lonely planting that weeping willow in the ashes of his cooperative evil choice.