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How very strongly I treasure the gift I have been blessed with – a gift of infinite proportion, given entirely selflessly, at a most difficult time, to a total stranger: an act of pure compassion and good faith, which extends well beyond my own circumstances to affirm and honour the life of all of us, encapsulating the very best spirit to which we can aspire. Not a day goes by that I fail to realize my great fortune at being so fully able to live my life again, after having walked so closely in death’s shadow. With every aspect of my soul, I send to all donor families my every blessing and my grateful thanks.
Cribbage/Flatline/Sweater: The Measure of God (for Dionne Sinclair)
-written during my recuperation from cardiac transplant surgery
On the ward tonight
is a nervous girl
with a patient who presents with
1) good spirits, and in the afternoon, cribbage;
2) bad numbers and shapes and rhythms;
3) a sweater, a shirt, a pair of dress jeans.
With anything, prolonged, she thinks, with paddles,
I’ll have to cut this sweater.
Something like faith,
the only kind, the steady kind,
keeps this nurse from
undressing this man.
As we approach death,
is modesty a virtue?
Why is this man here?, she thinks.
There’s a spark, part of an engine block,
nothing else with this car
still moving in one last electrical miracle,
the electrics of prayer
It's the accumulation
of prayer for this man,
who will one day,
one night (when his heart learns),
know this measure of God
because of other prayer-makers
and forgers of the Light-
who in turn will make
prayers with this Light
and with God's machines and
surgeons' hands and
a nervous, wise nurse and
just a simple spirit
whose music might rejoice the land
or fill in one small Measure
Fredericton-based classical guitarist, composer and choral conductor Steven Peacock has performed in concert and recording engagements throughout Canada and in the United Kingdom, and has just released The Calico Road (Blue Milo, 2005), a varied collection of short works for solo guitar. Keenly interested in ensemble work, he has also worked extensively with flautists Sally Wright (Cantilena: 20th-century Works for Flute and Guitar, 2001) and (in the UK) Jane Coulcher-Stoltenberg (Encuentro, 2000); sopranos Angela Birdsell, Wendy Nielsen and Paula Hebert (Gaudete!, 2003); bassoonist Yvonne Kershaw (Canciones y Leyendas: Songs and Legends for Bassoon and Guitar, nominated for an ECMA in 2005); and guitarist Gerry Van Wart, with whom he has released Milonga (2003) and El Elegante: Dances for Two Guitars (1997). Steven currently teaches at the University of New Brunswick and adjudicated the 2003 National Festival of Music.