Remembering Elizabeth Gips

Dear Ones,

I wanted to share some recent memories of Elizabeth. My wife, Janus, and I just got to know Paddy and Elizabeth the last few years, I had been unaware of her celebrity until the last couple of months participating on the sharing place and reading 'Scrapbook of a Haight Ashbury Pilgrim' the last couple of weeks. I am so glad we've gotten to know her person to person first. My first reaction to 'Be Here Now' and similar writings in the early 70's was that it was a lot of hype! It took years for me to 'get' the message. The welcoming love that Elizabeth has shown to me, Janus, and our daughter, Robynne has been amazing. She took Robynne to Long's Marine Lab last fall and had a date to take here shopping for an outfit when she was up to it.

I want to share what a joy it has been to see Paddy and Elizabeth out and about the last few months, at the farmers market, the Santa Cruz Hemp Expo, The Compassion Flower Inn on 4/20, and at Earth Day Festivities at San Lorenzo Park. It was on Earth Day I had an incredible experience of Elizabeth's love. Janus and I had gone to see John Lee Hooker the night before at the Catalyst (he is in his 80's), gone to our Unitarian Universalist Fellowship that morning before running into Paddy and Elizabeth at the park. We sat down with them and I told Elizabeth we had been to the 'church' of John Lee Hooker the night before and to fellowship that morning. Elizabeth said "Wow, you guys go to church at a concert, go to church in the morning and then come here!?!" I said to her "It's all church". Elizabeth put her hand on my shoulder and gave me the biggest grin. I felt loved and appreciated as much as I ever had in my life. She will be dearly missed but never forgotten.

We went over to the house and saw her lying in state and all her friends and family. Paddy seem to be relieved, like a burden has been lifted. Elizabeth was so beautiful and peaceful lying there. People played music and chanted for her or just stood in prayerful reverence. Every time I looked at her I swear she would wink at me or her chest seemed to rise from breathing. Other people said they had similar experiences. I've been imagining her energy swirling about the community. I'm really noticing things like flowers, clouds, whirlwinds and children playing, and feeling Elizabeth there smiling down on the scene.

May we all continue to create community from the vision that Elizabeth generated in us.

Robert Blume

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