Kana’s last sentence
In the summer a decade ago Kana died. He was an unusual man and a slightly enigmatic member of the community. He was a talented woodworker and he supplemented our hammocks and hanging chair offerings at craft fairs with these walking sticks he used to make. They were a collection of dramatically different type woods laminated together, cut in slightly curly ways. The overall effect was stunning. When customers came thru i told the story of how Kana had been a monk and had been thrown out of the monastery for laughing too much. Hawina told the story too.
At his funeral, i spoke about going to Kana with this story, which i had made up. i told him this after a successful fair in which we had sold many of his sticks. He said “that story is better than the truth, keep telling it.” At the funeral Hawina learned for the first time that i made the entire thing up. At the funeral Kana’s sister told us what really happened before Vatican II Kana was a catholic monk. But when the church changed the mass from Latin to the local language and liberalized other aspects for the church behavior, Kana felt like it has lost its tradition and withdrew from the order. He became fascinated by the teachings of Krishnamurti and over the years his lifestyle changed dramatically. By the time he got to Twin Oaks he drank and smoked fairly regularly.
I was stopping by his room on a pretty regular basis back in 2000. He always had interesting conversation of company or was playing guitar, it was a happening place to be his little room with all the beautiful woodwork he had made, including a number of wooden seats he had crafted for his company. And when he died, Coyote said an insightful thing about him. “When someone like Kana dies, you have to become stronger – because they leave the kind of hole in you that you can only fill with yourself.” Now i oft visit Coyote’s tiny crowded room where the better conversation is and Kana’s picture adorns the wall.
Kana spent most of his time on the farm here at Twin Oaks, but when he did go into town, he got dressed up for it. On this fateful day in the sumer of 2002, he decided to go into the local chiropractor to see if he could help with some chest pains. He was experiencing. As he got into the car Hildagard noticed that not only was he not dressed up as he usually was, but he was not even wearing shoes. She called after him “are you going into town like that?”
And the last thing he said to anyone who lived here was “i am going just the way i am.”
After i wrote this post i found a Kana Photo Archive