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A Farewell to Danaan Parry

Copyright © 1996 by Daniel Deardorff

This article appeared in the January 1997 issue of M.E.N. Magazine


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Sunday, November 24, 1996

Seattle

Danny Deardorff recently led a men's grief circle for a good friend and charismatic elder, Danaan Parry. Danaan was the founder of the EarthStewards network. His Essene Book of Days has been an inspiration to many. He also wrote Warriors of the Heart, a book for men and women about bringing the essence of the peaceful warrior into their relationships and every aspect of their lives, to make a positive difference towards world peace. More recently, he and his wife Jerilyn Brusseau found that peacemaking and the struggle for world peace begins with finding peace between men and women. Their program is described in the EarthStewards videotape, Essential Peacemaking: Women and Men.

Danaan was with Jerilyn when he died suddenly of a heart attack on November 14th. A public memorial was held in Seattle on the 20th.

There has been a tradition at The Microsoft Network (MSN) that the auditoriums for special-guest chats be named after someone. As Forum Manager of the Men's Issues Forum on MSN, I have dedicated the Men's Issues Forum Auditorium as the Danaan Parry Auditorium.

The day we die

the wind comes down

to take away

our footprints.

The wind makes dust

to cover up

the marks we left

while walking.

For otherwise

the thing would seem

as if we were

still living.

Therefore the wind

is he who comes

to blow away

our footprints.

-Southern Bushman's Song

The wind comes to blow away the footprints of the dead, otherwise the soul, seeing his own footprints as if he were still living, may become confused about the world in which he belongs. Danaan left a lot of footprints; his heart took him around the world, from people to people, he walked the good earth leaving the traces of his passing. The footprints will blow away. No monument will stay against the winds of time. Danaan is gone; and yet something will remain.

So many souls come and go in this world, to play their part in the dance and then move on. It is rare, but it happens that a soul enters the dance and the dance itself is changed. Even when that dancer is gone, and their footprints have all been erased, they are remembered by the dance and the music and the new steps they created for us all. Danaan Parry was such a dancer; his voice added something unknown that changed the music forever.

If ever there was a wandering minstrel it was Danaan. No, he did not carry a harp or a lute, but he told the stories, he raised his voice and made the hearts of sworn enemies sing together in perfect harmony. He was the Warrior-Bard…

Land of Song, sang the Warrior-Bard,

Though all the world betrays thee

One sword for thee will stand on guard,

One faithful harp shall praise thee.

-traditional Irish

When the Bard Orpheus was killed, his body torn to pieces, his head and his harp were carried, by the river, down to the sea. The head was found and taken to the Temple of Dionysos and when they put it on the altar the head began to sing. It is rare, but it happens that a human creates a consciousness that sings! In the Temple: the crossroads of the worlds, what remains is the singing. Danaan's footprints will pass away, but his song will stay! Alive in the Temple, in each of us, in the mandorla of the human heart, we will keep the gift that can never fade: vision.

As did his ancestor, the great Bard Taliesin, Danaan took the bitter wisdom of Ceridwen's cup; past, present, and future were his to see. Danaan's vision, his bright brow will go on singing and dancing, laughing and crying, guiding us, down the years, always to the heart: the Land of Song, to a world at peace, and always, always to "the next step" in the dance.


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