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'Someone Special'



Because I live in the rural wilds of Humboldt, I don't get to read every Journal. It was only by chance that I picked up the March 31 issue and read Pat Bitton's tribute to Joan Schirle ("Reflections on Joan Schirle's World"). To say I was overwhelmed with loss and sorrow is an understatement. I hadn't even known she was ill.

I met Joan when I worked for Dell'Arte ever so many years ago. Though I had dabbled in theater, my position at Dell'Arte was administrative. That did not stop me from being in awe of the artistic talent of the founding members. But, beyond her theatrical talent and vision, Joan was someone special. Over the years she has stayed in my heart and mind as an icon of what a woman of integrity and vision should be. Not that she was perfect or a saint, she was as human as all of us and sometimes difficult to work with. But, that's what made her stand out to me. In the midst of broken, vulnerable humanness she was present for her own life and for those she encountered.

I never told her how much she influenced me, nor how much of a role model she was, nor how she was one of those people that just knowing she was in the world was a comfort to me. Lesson learned, don't be shy, tell people how much they mean to you, even if you think they hardly remember you.

Thanks, Joan for being who you are, your passing is a tremendous loss for Dell'Arte, for Humboldt County and the world. May your westward journey be light.

Lauri Rose, Bridgeville

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