Patrick Morgan (A Remembrance)
I became acquainted with Patrick Morgan when he made an application to SICA-USA for a grant for his memoir, written under a pen name and titled: River of Dreams: A Spiritual Memoir. He struggled with the grant application, but finished it and it was presented to the SICA-USA board which approved his request. Soon after we learned via Emmanuel Elliott’s Reminders of Reality Subud newsletter that Patrick Morgan was dead just before his 64th birthday. He was not active in recent years in Subud, but is well-remembered and regarded by Subud members Evan Padilla and Marston Gregory who say he was affable and a regular Latihan practitioner.
In communicating with Emmanuel Elliott, I was connected with one of Patrick’s good friends from Seattle, Mandy Landa, who generously offered the following remembrance for this Subud Brother who died too soon. (See below). We will be publishing excerpts from Patrick’s memoir in the weeks to come and pray for the best outcome for all involved with gratitude (as always) for the Latihan Kejiwaan of Subud. (Paul E Nelson)
On Patrick Morgan by Manda Landa
I first met Patrick in the ’80s. We worked at a startup in Berkeley as we were both beginning our careers. Patrick had a bright spark and a way of laughing about everything. He worked in finance and he was good at it. Yet finance did not define him. He painted on canvas, glass, and garments. And he performed as a dancer. Later, he would go on to found a store that dedicated its proceeds to supporting victims of AIDS. Even later, he would use his financial know-how to mentor startups dedicated to solving environmental problems.
Patrick and I developed a friendship that lasted for 40 years. I was a witness to his light and his suffering, his love and his pain. For all of us, life brings its challenges. Patrick’s were particularly vexing. Sometime in his 40’s he became crippled with severe arthritis, so severe that I could no longer hug him. He also suffered panic attacks and could not drive. His daily existence was difficult and he depended on caregivers.
As painful as Patrick’s final years must have been, they were also beautiful. He had an uncanny way to touch the nature-like beauty in everything. He had a rich dream life and allowed himself to be moved by those dreams. And he wrote about them, refusing to let them slip away. Even though I visited him infrequently (I last saw him in 2009), Patrick and I spent many long hours on the phone. I know from listening that Patrick wanted to leave the world better than it was when he got here. When I learned of Patrick’s passing, my strongest yearning was for one last touch of his beautiful mind. How beautiful that he left us his memoirs.
I bought a print after Patrick passed. (See “Solstice” below.) It’s from 1989. It’s so lovely to have a piece of his insight into beauty. I wanted to mention one funny memory from the late 90’s when I visited Patrick’s apartment in Seattle. He was in his phase of painting penises. The entire studio apartment was stuffed with paintings of penises…no matter where I looked that’s all I saw. Especially now it makes me smile to remember.