Today is exquisite. All the windows in the house are open, and within is as fresh as without.
My brother commented on the beauty
and inspirational quality of Jane’s poem
of January 16th, without
realizing it was inspired by a “real” person.
When I posted the poem, I debated talking about him, but, I wanted the
poem to stand on its own. Today, I asked
Jane to write something about him. I
give you her words. We both wonder if
they are necessary, and I think that through this other form, we are give
another peek into a commendable human being.
Each time I read the last line, I feel chills. How true it is for us all that we don’t “have a lot
My husband Jim has had a
company of three partners for thirty years. For most of that time they leased a
building in San
During the dot com boom they were evicted from the building they'd been in for
almost 30 years because the landlord wanted to make more money. After a long
time looking they found a space in a wonderful old and historic building in Berkeley with a beautiful clerestory and original brick walls
that had been a clock factory. The landlord is a man of integrity, married to
an artist. He's been a Berkeley denizen for most of his 90-some years. In spite of
his age and infirmity he hasn't turned the building over to a property
management group and takes personal interest in his tenants, renting to
people/groups who, to me, all seem to have pursued "right
livlihood" in some form or another.
When the rains came this winter, the building flooded (it's in the lowlands of West Berkeley. ) Jim and his partners noticed on the day of
their holiday party that water was squishing under their carpets. They notified
the landlord and were told by his wife that he was very ill...he has cancer
...and was in a lot of pain. Nevertheless, the landlord called people to go to
the building and assess the damage and deal with repairs. Then just a few
days later the landlord met with Jim and the people he'd hired to manage the
repairs, reviewed what they'd done, made decisions about the next steps and
wrote out the checks needed to cover the work. As he left, he said quietly to the
people he'd hired to do the repairs, "Make sure the carpet repair happens
quickly. I don't have a lot of time."
is Jane’s poem from January 16th again.
The old landlord was sick the day the rain began.
By the third day water had flooded the clock factory.
It rose up through the floor.
It seeped through the doors.
By the fifth day the water receded.
The old landlord rose up out of his sick bed.
He went to the clock factory and assessed the damage.
He sat at his desk, wrote checks for the needed repairs.
Everything you need to know about the landlord is here.