You say good-bye, and I
George "Keoki" Harrison,
Lower Nâhiku, Hâna, Maui
I woke up to say hello
to this chilly winter's day to learn that George had said good-bye
"All things must
none of life's strings can last.
So I must be on my way and face another day.
Now the darkness only stays at nighttime,
in the morning it will fade away.
Daylight is good at arriving at the right time.
It's not always going to be this grey.
All things must pass, all things must pass away."
Things Must Pass, George
Across town at a
friend's home in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, George Harrison, at age 58,
transitioned to the other side of the veil. He had valiantly battled throat,
lung and brain cancer brought on by a lifelong -- from age 12 -- smoking
said, "I got it purely from smoking. I gave up cigarettes
many years ago, but started again for a while and then stopped in
cancer sticks have claimed yet another one of my dearest:
Aunty Chick, Uncle Ted, Honoli`i Gramma, Ruth Montgomery, Walt
Disney, now George. Grrrrr.
It is 6:30 am and 45
degrees outside. I've lit a candle for George, glowing, flickering
beside me as I write, and symbolic of my parting wish:
George's path Home be cleared and brightly lit.
Today's journal entry is
my tribute to a friend who has been in the background of my life,
exerting his quiet, powerful influence, as was his style.
He told us not to worry,
and even when death seemed imminent, I didn't. He had lots of
spiritual backbone. He was
well-grounded in his faith. He was prepared. He too had a
glimpse and knew the way Home. I find comfort in these
words from his family*:
"He left this world as he lived it, conscious of God,
fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by family and friends."
* His beautiful
Mexican-American wife, Olivia
Harrison, born in 1948 in California, who empowered him and saved him
from a knife-wielding
intruder in 1999, and his look-alike son Dhani,
23, born in 1978, who gave his father's life great
meaning, were at George's side.
His parting message was
beautifully simple and well said:
else can wait,
but the search for God cannot wait.
Love one another."
He battled hard. He was
brave, keeping that wry, often irreverent, dry English humor that spawned Monty Python
films. Just two weeks ago, he was cracking jokes, laughing.
George came into my life
in February, 1964, when the Beatles hit the American scene when I
was 12 and he was 20. He was the non-flashy, brilliant lead
guitarist, who taught John how to play the guitar. Back then, I
couldn't tell you why he instantly became my favorite Beatle, but I was
My friends were
incredulous that "The Quiet, Shy One" was my favorite
Beatle, and not cute Paul, or brash John, or funny Ringo. Even then,
although he was the baby -- the youngest -- of The Fab Four, I
sensed his gravity, his significance, his conscientiousness. George
was the touched one, the advanced soul with unfathomable depth, sometimes
perceived as enigmatic, and quiet, unassuming strength.
He was the reluctant
celebrity who didn't suck up the limelight, more a musician than a
rock star. I found his understatedness and reticence appealing. When he wanted to be, he was garrulous and I was charmed.
His life had an uncanny
relevance to mine. Descended on one side from generations of Eastern
spiritual followers and leaders, I was steeped in its spiritualism
and mysticism. George, the spiritual explorer and mystic, embraced a
spirituality that I took completely for granted, helping me to
become aware and open to its gifts.
Loving, loving humanity
and deeply spiritual, he helped to put me on a good path in life and
stay on it.
I liked how he kept the
whole picture -- The Big One -- in sight and in perspective. To the end, he
didn't care about the fame aspect. From afar, I've admired how he
to his soul, in spite of the temptations and the distractions that
accompanied Beatlemania and its fall-out:
is not the goal," he articulated. "Money can buy a bit
of freedom, but it is not the answer. The answer is how to
get peace of mind and how to be happy."
When VH1's Bill Flanagan
asked George, if, as a believer in reincarnation, he thought the
Beatles must have done wonderful things in their past lives to be so
blessed in this one?
He said he looked at it
differently. He said:
you really believe that we're here to find enlightenment, to
figure out God's Will then what could be more distracting, what
could be more destructive than that to have the whole world laid
out before you. All those temptations really just get in the
way of finding the true meaning in life."
every human is a quest to find the answers to why are we
here, who am I, where did I come from, where am I
going. That to me became the most important thing in my
life. Everything became secondary."
"He was a very lovely man who didn't suffer fools gladly
and didn't like interferences in his private life.
~ Paul McCartney
The mania never sat well
with George. "Let's look for what is more important than celebrity
and fame," he said. Seek and ye shall find, and in seeking,
George found what was more
important in an unlikely place for a bloke from Liverpool, the
of a bus driver, Harold, and his wife, Louise. Half a world away,
in my homeland, he found peace of mind and happiness.
An Englishman, a
Liverpudlian no less, in the lushness of remote Heavenly Hâna, Maui is
incongruous, but in its tropical splendor and seclusion, away from
the grind, grime, games and grudges, his soul
found its Earthly home, its soothing balm. There, he was
unleashed from his celebrity tethers, and he was free to be.
here, then scroll
down to a photo of his Hâna home
Inspired by the
waterfalls, greenery, and warm people, he poured his Aloha for Hâna
into the song, Soft-Hearted Hana:
I fell in love with my Soft-Hearted Hana
She entered right in through my heart
And now although we're miles apart
I still feel her.
Right now, I smile,
remembering George as a Traveling
Wilbury, a key member of the best tongue-in-cheek band ever with
the most stellar and motley of rock talent: Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Roy
Orbison. Committed more to the music than individual glory, this
group of friends recorded their songs at his other home, the former 19th century Gothic
convent in Henley-on-Thames in England, Friar
Just think, today, George,
Roy Orbison, and John Lennon and are reuniting, maybe jamming, with Brian Epstein as manager?
George's legacies, the
prodigious fruit of his songwriting gift, will allow me to keep hearing his
soft, melodic voice:
Comes the Sun
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
All Things Must Pass
Think For Yourself
I Need You, from the Help soundtrack
If I Needed Someone, from the Rubber Soul album
WithinYou, Without You, from the Sgt. Pepper album
and my favorite:
My Sweet Lord
"...deep, joyous, spiritual, uplifting and effortlessly brilliant!"
~ From the album, All
Things Must Pass
the above linked songs for streaming audio.
for more sound clips
never took so much from the world
that he would be unwilling to let it go."
~ Bill Flanagan
While we no longer
occupy the same dimension except in my dreams, I have not lost
George as a friend, as we'll be together spiritually. I know this, as
George's last message was Jesus' : Love one
"And in the end, the love you take
is equal to the love you make."
He's on Cloud
9, just a breath away, doing his best to make love come
to everyone...to you. The ties that bind...
di, ob la da ...live goes on... Yes, it does, George, but you'll
be sorely missed. Your songs will sustain me until we meet again.
Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we're together
Love you when we're apart.
~ From the song, I Will
I'll keep reminding
myself today and in the days to come: "Faithful friends never leave...they just run ahead to wait for us in a happier place."
One day, we will garden
together. "Forty years goes
like that," George said, as he snapped his fingers.
I hear you.
Post's retrospective online visuals and audio
Times coverage and multimedia
>> Hari Scruff's
Beatles Music: Audio Files
Forum: True Beatles Fans
"Life is a Gift."
'oe e Keoki, me ka Mahalo,
P.S. If you would
like to share a portion of yourself with words, in response to
this journal entry, you may do it here.
only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
| what | archives