Sunday, August 26, 2007

Remembering Ago

It's too bad it takes a funeral or a memorial service to stop for a moment in your life and remember what is important. What was important to Romain "Ago" Agostini was his friends. Countless numbers of old and new friends made that slow walk up to the podium this morning at his memorial, the celebration of his life to share a story and a laugh remembering Ago's talents and his heart. By all accounts, he was as comfortable in front of a computer as an engineer, in the middle of a kitchen as he broke bread with his friends, or behind the lens of a camera with an amazing eye for beauty. As for his photography,, he said "My main interests currently reside with contemplative landscape photography as well as evocative travel photography." I think that says it pretty well.

Ago's path and mine crossed a few years back at an art show. We stayed in distant touch through that connection. Every now and then I would get an invitation inviting me to one of his gallery shows and I was never able to make it due to conflicts with my own shows. I was always happy to see Ago & Ellie come visit me when I was at a show. They are both such genuine people. When I received the email last week announcing Ago's death , I saw his name in the subject line and immediately opened it. "YAY! I hope I can attend this show, I thought". My heart broke when I saw it was news of his passing instead. Ago did not make it to his 50th birthday; cancer cruelly took him much too soon. All of us who knew Ago and those who will learn about him in his death; we were all gypped.

Ago traveled the world and captured images that will forever be frozen in that moment. And for that moment, you are in Alaska viewing the Northern Lights, or in the rice fields of Bali, or the gargoyles in Paris, or Tuscany, Venice and Ago's home of California. I'm not sure he had a favorite place. I struggled to decide which of his photographs was my favorite. I waited to make that decision, because maybe at the next show I would be able to decide and finally buy one. I loved them all. This photo of the Northern Lights might just be the one; I love the stars and the colors. And I especially love that Ago captured it's beauty. I suspect he would tell me that this photo was nothing like being there, but I trust his artist's eye and his heart to have brought us the best.

Perhaps they are not stars
but rather openings in Heaven
where the love of our lost ones shines down
to let us know they are happy

an Eskimo legend

I would like to think that Ago thought we had a fine service for him today and that he liked the stories that were told. He will be missed. I would also like to think that the heavens gained another star last Sunday when Ago left this earth and that his love is shining down on all that knew him, even for a brief moment.

My condolences and love to Ellie; I'm so sorry.

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