The praise is pouring from the skies around the world, the tributes, the pure joy at someone of Howard Zinn's commitment, brilliance, and warmth being posted more quickly than Google can even keep up. You must click on that first link before going any further to see a truly beautiful picture of this man.
My tiny reminiscence with the reminder to always say hello. Always.
In one of those funny coincidences of life, I nearly always see Howard when I go to the nearby Whole Foods. By which I don't mean occasionally. I mean it's rare that I go -- and I go a lot, grocery shopping being the sole shopping experience that I enjoy (I know, I'm bad for the consumer economy of the U.S.) -- to the store and don't bump into Howard.
Almost always (read on), I say hi, sometimes exchange a few words, complimenting him on his latest triumph/publicity/appearance-on-Jon-Stewart. Even if we haven't stopped to speak, we smile back and forth. He was just a lovely man, unmissable because he was so tall, in astonishingly good shape and very handsome, with thick wavy hair, even at 87, straight spine, moving gracefully through the vegetables and fruits, wheeling past the dairy department.
About a week ago, I was in a rush and so as I grabbed for some grapes and noticed Howard out of the corner of my eye near the cucumbers, I made that split-second decision to not stop, not engage, just to keep moving because I was on a schedule.
On a schedule that I can't even remember now. I have no idea why I was in such a rush that I couldn't smile at Howard for the last time, remind him how much he'd inspired me to keep doing my work, and to say something nice about his daughter and son-in-law, Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn, with whom we share the same karass.
Smiling now for all you gave and for staying the course. And sending love to the whole family.