Unification News for

April 1998


In Memoriam David Carlson

by Vanessa Nishikawa-Fairview, OR

David Carlson was my brother and my friend. He passed on last March. He was a man of great passion, of great drama and great dedication. During the past two years that I have known him and worked with him, God has blessed me with a sisterly love and compassion which helped me to see his potential and to understand his hopes and struggles.

We shared several things in common, one being a similar perspective on spiritual matters. This helped us to confirm and validate our life experiences and through this we could offer one another empathy. We also shared a love for chocolate, which helped us to laugh and poke fun at one another.

But much greater than these two was our common vision for the betterment of our church building and our church community. This was the basis for our working relationship in the finance committee of our church.

In the finance committee, we relied heavily on Davidís knowledge and expertise in planning the renovation of our church building. His sharp mind was always looking for the best way to accomplish every project. He was able to clearly articulate his plans for the future well-being of our community and always expressed deep sensitivity and concern for the whole communityís needs.

He was always willing to lend a helping; no job was too big or too small for David.

He and his wife Kyoko and daughter Kristy have been good friends to our family for the past two years and we have shared many a friendly supper, board game or basketball game.

Although his spirit, with his kindness and sportsmanship, will remain with us, we will miss him. We will miss his good ideas and his funny jokes. We will miss his passionate presence in our daily lives.

As a tribute to David, I have written a poem which I would like to share with you. It is an impression I received about his spiritual journey.

It is entitled "Ode to a Warrior."Ode to a WarriorThe warrior sinks to the rocky soil at the mountainís peak, his body aching with exhaustion. he glances back momentarily at the steep incline he has just traversed. His eyes burn with the memory of the climb and he presses the palms of his hands against them, trying to block out the harrowing images of his journey. He breathes in the fresh mountain air; a memory of a fragrance assaults his nostrils.

How many mountains has he climbed in his quest? How many deserts has he crossed? In how many valleys has he found rest?

Too many to count. Too tired to remember.

He opens his eyes and surveys the deep green valley before him. It stretches out for seemingly endless miles until it touches the vast ocean far in the distance, the twilight sun now grazing its surface with amber, glinting gently in the warriorís eyes.

The ocean that waits, holding the ship that will take him back home.

He rests. And while he rests, he dreams.

His dreams, at first, are stormy, full of the images of his clashes and his conquests, and he cries out, tossing in his sleep.

Then he is calm. He breathes deeply in his sleep, and the fragrance is of his wife, her clean hair against his face while he slumbers. His mind yearns for her comfort, his body for her soft caress.

He hears her tender voice waking him, encouraging him to rise to the challenge of a new day. In the background, the laughter of his daughter, beckoning him to play. And ever so faintly, the tiny heartbeat of his unborn child.

The beat throbs inside of him...envelops him...becomes him.

He wakes with a start.

He is on the sandy beach of the crystal blue ocean.

The waves crash against the shore, beating rhythmically, penetrating his mind, amplifying the beat that throbs within.

The sails of the ship billow in the morning breeze, pure white like the clouds that glide by on the sapphire sky.

He stretches his arms to wave a greeting and notices that the weariness is gone.

His jubilance reflects a single thought: one more ocean to cross before he is home.

Sail on, young warrior. Fare well.

Dedicated to David Carlson
10/30/54 - 3/16/97
my brother and friend
by Vanessa Nishikawa

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