Felsenmusick - The Weblog of Daniel Felsenfeld
The Web Log of a Certain Daniel Felsenfeld: Composer, critic, avid reader, aspiring
bon vivant, capricorn, shadowy figure, advice for the lovelorn

Monday, September 18, 2006

In Memoriam Bronwyn Dodson


Today marks the 15th anniversary of the passing of one of my dearest friends, Bronwyn Dodson. We knew each other for four years, and her life was cut painfully short at the age of 22 in an automobile accident. She was among the most beautiful and talented souls I ever had the pleasure to have met, and to her I dedicated several works of mine. She, to me, was always best summed up in the poem "The Queen" by Neruda, which I set (in translation, something I never do) as the first of five songs in her honor (though I altered the tense of some of the words, changing "are"s to "were"s because she was no longer).

Bronwyn, I miss you daily, but especially on this day. Five years ago, which marked the decade of your passing, I neglected to commemorate you because the world had, a week before, dealt me a confusing blow and you got lost in the fog of war. This year, today, I think about you and smile: I miss your antics, drunken and otherwise; I miss our until-the-dawn phone conversations (those dorm room epiphanies one can only have at the age of 21); and I miss knowing what you would have become. Far too young, far too soon. I have no words...

"The Queen"

I have named you queen
There were taller ones than you, taller.
There were purer ones than you, purer.
There were lovelier ones than you, lovelier.

But you are the queen.

When you walk through the streets
no one recognizes you.
No one sees your crystal crown, no one looks
at the carpet of red gold
that you tread as you pass,
the nonexistent carpet

And when you appear
all the river sound
in my body, bells
shake the sky,
and a hymn fills the world.

Only you and I,
only you and I, my love,
listen to it.

--Pablo Neruda, from The Captain's Verses

8 Comments:

Blogger Milkman of Human Kindness said...

That was beautiful Danny. It doesn't seem like so long ago...I, too, miss her everyday...

I hope you are well, old friend...

~Jose

1:58 AM  
Blogger James said...

That is perfect Danny. No it doesn't seem so long ago, does it Jose? All of us who were close, and whom I still talk with, say the same thing, "...I think of her everyday." What a remarkable soul to have touched us each and every one, like we were her closest of friends. Truely the world was left a little less of a home for her leaving it. But what an amazing place she must occupy now eh? Danny, thanks for putting this up. It's something I always wanted to do, but never had the fortitude to complete. Peace. James

8:25 AM  
Blogger WillowLu said...

Danny,

I'd love to hear the music you created in our sweet friend Bronwyn's honor. Is it posted anywhere?

Thank you for posting this remembrance. I miss her so much and will always consider myself blessed to have had such an amazing friend.

Best to you ~ Jen B.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

James, Jose, if you are still checking this, I encourage you to email me. I'd love to reconnect

11:37 AM  
Blogger WillowLu said...

Now that I have your email addy, I'll send it along to James as well.

Per your request, one full report comin' up. :) ~ Jen

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Shari said...

Like all of you, I think of Bronwyn daily. Back in the day I did makeup. I am a social worker now and try to emulate the way she focused on people in the moment, in my work. I remember crying when I found out I was carrying a girl because I knew then that I would name her Amy Bronwyn. She will be 4 years old this June. This posting was a great gift. Thank you. Shari

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Jenn Suns said...

I am cleaning out some 'long ago' things today. Many things i threw away, some things i kept. I kept the letters Bronwyn sent me after she moved to California. I had to put aside the box i was going through when i came upon the card sent to me from her family thanking me for the letter i wrote to them upon learning of her passing. Bronwyn comes to me in my dreams on occasion. Happy, bubbly, silly Bronwyn. She was my best friend from 3rd grade until... I came across your blog today - i wanted to let you know there are a lot of us out here. Those of us who are blessed to have known this sweet soul. She will be 38 on August 13.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous whrorwhn said...

I do think of her every day- she was an inspiration to me in numerous ways and and her spirit has motivated many of my choices in life. I knew her as a "big sister" of sorts and she taught me plenty :) I am comforted knowing all of her friends and family are still in conversation in some forms or others.- Megan

9:17 PM  

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