We don’t normally write in the posts on this blog but today is different. Today we found out the shocking news that our friend Harry was washed out to sea and killed by a freak wave off the UK coast in the early hours of this New Years Day 2014.
Beyond the spreading of sad news and the memory of a good friend, the point of my writing now is this:
As with almost all of my encounters with Harry I’ve been compelled to now get up and act in some way. To write here and spread the influence and some of the sentiment of his story is something, on hearing this news, I immediately felt I must do.
A mutual friend just passed on the story that:
“Harry walked down to the beach under the stars singing the blues to a harmonica, he entered the sea naked arms stretched up shouting with joy….. this is the story worth telling”
We’ve both known Harry a long time, he was not a friend we saw everyday but the times that our paths crossed were always special, memorable and truly motivating. He was one of these strange and beautiful gifts to the world, seeming at times to be floating through this life on some sort of etherial cloud of his own. A soul that, once having met, you were never likely to forget. One of his many talents was as a story teller & he had a unique way of emanating his own ‘you can do anything you want to’ way of looking at things on to others like an infectious cloud.
I really don’t feel I exaggerate when I say that he truly influenced everyone he met with his positive energy, love and special way of looking at the world.
I’m not religious, I don’t believe in a physical afterlife but something my grandfather (a wiser man than I) once said was that after death we’ll all live on in the lives and actions of all the other people that we’ve influenced along the way. My own interpretation of this is that no matter how fleeting an encounter may be, it has the power to change the world.
So in this respect, to us and to countless others, our friend Harry will never die.
And through spreading this story now on to those who may have never met him we would hope that in some way his story can live on even stronger.
The days since this tragedy saw the development of, as his friend Tom writes in this blog (http://luddsnextthesea.blogspot.pt/2014/01/stormharry-massive-waves-took-life-of.html):
“one of the biggest swells the Atlantic has ever brewed. A huge low pressure system has been deepening over the days since Harry went into the sea, it is sending ahead giant waves which big wave surfers around the world are flying to Europe to ride.”
There’s currently a campaign afoot to petition the MET office to re-name the storm after Harry. Please ‘Google’ #StormHarry to help support this.
It would truly be a tribute fitting for the boy who floated on air, loved, laughed, told stories and danced away ‘barefoot on the sea’
If you knew Harry, such a poignant, meaningful and symbolic way to leave the world ‘dancing up the biggest storm ever’ is the only way that he really could leave. Nothing less would fit.
If you didn’t know harry, let me say this…
If there’s anybody truly deserving of a life, assured to use it to it’s fullest, it’s people like Harry.
And such is the true nature of this tragedy.
We all have a tendency to take life, the most precious of all things, for granted. From such a shocking moment as this, where one of the few individuals I’ve met who did not is denied a future, a positive thought has been screamed into my consciousness. It is that you have to grab life and live it to it’s absolute fullest everyday. No Exceptions.
This is how Harry inspired people.
This is our own motivation to be doing and to continue what we’re doing now.
And this is, through the most sad and poignant of moment in his story, perhaps a message from Harry that can be spread far and wide and as such continue his life and influence.
Whatever you believe, wherever you are & whatever you do. Life is for living. It is a precious thing. Do not waste it!
To quote Goethe:
“whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.”
If you go to the videos section of this site, find ‘The Wedding’ & skip to 11:14 you’ll see some of Harry’s performance for us on the last day we saw him.
I’d like to paraphrase it now:
“For when they come for us…
do not take your hand from mine.
Do not take your hand from mine and make a fist with the other!
Never close off, stand tall and when they come, for they will come
to cut our hair.
Tell them we are GODS!
We are DEPARTED!
YOU CAN’T CATCH US NOW!”