Sarah Avery (dr_pretentious) wrote,
Sarah Avery

A World Without Margot Adler

There are still the books, of course. And among them THE book. For a few more days, we’ll hear her voice on NPR in her colleagues’ obituaries of her. Many of us will include her likeness on our ancestor altars this Samhain. If you were to count all the people who read and loved Drawing Down the Moon early in their lives as Pagans as descending from her lineage, the people in her downline would number tens of thousands, maybe a hundred thousand. If you counted that way, I’d be one of them.

Nonetheless, our world is now a world without Margot Adler in it. I only really met her once, yet it’s hard to convey just how disorienting her absence is.I am so grateful to the universe that I got to meet her this past March. I suspected at the time that she’d had cancer — when a person whose signature look for decades has been long, straight, black hair suddenly has a funky, spiky, all-gray pixie cut, I suspect chemo, and she mentioned obliquely that she’d had a health struggle of some kind in the previous year. She was so vital, so funny and smart and real, I speculated that she was already out of danger. Hoped fervently, for reasons large and small. I had some crazy daydream about asking her to blurb my book, but that would have felt like asking the Buddhas of Bamiyan to endorse a breakfast cereal.

Maybe this is what people feel who got to see the Buddhas of Bamiyan in the last year before they were demolished. Adler was beyond larger than life, into the realms of the monumental. And now she’s a memory.
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