Letter to Editor | Missing Scott Gianola

— from Spirit Eagle —

Scott Gianola left this world just before Christmas and leaves a large hole in the hearts of his friends. Walking everywhere, he could be seen greeting friends around town. When Scott walked past my apartment and I was outside we greeted each other enthusiastically and I always felt that we shared a secret about this mortal coil called “life.”

In 1990 or so, Scott, Annie Lister and I started our own “Artist’s Way” Group. I got to know Scott well as there is a lot of retrospection/introspection in the course and we shared a lot of our feelings and our backgrounds with each other.

During the Iraq War, Scott had a thriving Espresso Bar in the Bookstore. On one of the days when a group of citizens were protesting the Iraq War, it started to rain and most of the people left. Some of the Diehards stayed with our posters,, (no umbrellas, of course, this is the Northwest) and we marched to the corner of Main Street and continued our vigil. Mary Hattan and Barry, her husband were the oldest members of our group, yet they stayed with their anti-war signs in the pouring, cold rain. After a while, Scott, our coffee angel ran out of the store carrying cups of hot espresso for all of us. That was just like Scott.

Since Scott’s death I have heard stories about his quiet, compassionate giving to others in our Community. I would hope that others in our Community share those stories. I know that when someone leaves this life by choice, it is a particularly difficult situation for those left behind to deal with. (remorse, guilt, hurt, anger, etc.), but those feelings are ok; they are just feelings and life itself consists of feelings. We can’t run from them.

It’s ok to feel. Please help yourselves as Scott’s friends by acknowledging this precioussSoul and his life.

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Letter to Editor | Missing Scott Gianola — 9 Comments

  1. I too will miss Scott, a longtime friend. shocked by this loss, I will honor him with good thoughts and memories

  2. Thank you for sharing these precious memories, Spirit Eagle. Scott was a strong, rich thread running through the tapestry of Eastsound. May his Spirit continue to inspire & uplift all who knew & loved him.

  3. “by a sleep to say we end
    The heartache, …. ‘Tis a consummation
    devoutly to be wished.” -hamlet

    I cannot imagine another path for Scott,
    Not that I would pretend to predict,
    but that knowing..
    I Know.
    you know?
    And thus no second guess
    but acceptance

    Orcas could not be the Orcas we know without him
    and likewise, without his chosen path to -wherever-
    ..in the end.

    So so many hours spent
    looking out that window
    into the mist,
    Willow island out there, beyond
    listening to his brainy banter
    taking his shots…
    caffeinated philosophy 101
    An Era.

    To me, with respect, say:
    he became himself
    without apology
    why make him less with regret!?

    black belt barista
    curmudgeon jazzologist
    no-cal compassion
    black-on-black ethic

    goodbye Scott
    our dark angel

  4. Beautiful thoughts about Scott, @Spirit Eagle. It comforts me to see people who knew and love Scott, acknowledging the many complex jeweled facets of him – and his important place in all of our lives.

    @Leif – your soulful poem is a stirring tribute too; I’m especially struck by this 2nd to last stanza:

    “black belt barista
    curmudgeon jazzologist
    no-cal compassion
    black-on-black ethic” …

    …and the Hamlet quote.

  5. Scott was my first yoga teacher on Orcas Island and it was at that particular core that we met. But then there were so many other connections over the years–

    Scott, I hope that now your spirit soars free and that now you are able to truly enjoy the delight you gave so many–Leif says it better than I ever could, and Spirit, too. Vance and I and Friday hate to say goodbye.

  6. Well that was beautiful.I thank you Spirit Eagle and all of you . I will forever miss Scott and think of him everyday of my own life.He was a unique blend.A gentle soul.A wicked comrade in all things sarcasm…
    I miss knowing I can tell him something we will both find wickedly funny or painfully tragic.

  7. In addition, Scott was a veritable walking encyclopedia about music, particularly jazz. He introduced many of us on the island to musicians we would not have known, and my musical education was expanded tremendously from my time working with him. Play some Charlie Haden, Scott Hamilton, or Madeleine Peyroux to remember him by.

  8. I’m thankful for all of your ruminations about my dear brother-in-law, Scott. He was art and centered will–he knew himself. His wit always entertained with a provocative twist that permitted our snarky indulgence. He made us laugh with an edge that was like red-pepper chocolate. We wanted more. Distance… hurts in this moment. So near, yet so far. I have learned from you Scott. I. Will. Not. Let. My. Loved. Ones. Not. Know. They. Are. Loved. No matter how far they are, they will know. And I know he knew, but Scott was a man of his own terms and I respect that. I miss him, love him, and will do my best to honor him. Knowing him through you all is such a comfort.

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