Kukula Kapoor Glastris
Answer one question or many - using words, photos or other media.
What six words best describe Kuku?
How did Kuku make you feel special and loved?
Others offering remembrances and tributes have captured her qualities and what it was like to be in her centripetal forcefield of love, and every glowing word is true times ten.
Also to be remembered is how many of us fell for the considerable and particular talent she had for drawing attention away from the reality that she lived with a cruel disease that brought an x-factor of pain into her life every single day.
Given the caliber and availability of journalism talent associated with the Glastris family, Kuku would kick me for turning to David Brooks in a moment like this, but read this column introduction and tell me who you think of:
"ABOUT once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued. You often catch them looking after other people and as they do so their laugh is musical and their manner is infused with gratitude. They are not thinking about what wonderful work they are doing. They are not thinking about themselves at all."
That was Kukula; she made you want to be a better person. And if you couldn’t manage that right away, she wanted you to at least stay a little longer, talk more and keep eating. And for god’s sake, don’t take even a step towards the dishwasher.
She always said that in her soul she was part Irish, which makes me certain that she knows that in our hearts she will always be our anam cara, the Celtic notion of a bond that transcends time, convention and philosophy. When you are blessed with an anam cara, the Irish believe, you have arrived at that most sacred place: home.
If you could send Kuku a message now, what would you say?
Please upload your favorite picture of Kuku
What was Kuku like as an editor and colleague?
Hindu, Episcopalian, Jewish and Greek. How did Kuku pull that off?
A second incident was our (she and I) talking about drinking the communion wine that was not consumed during the service. At one time the chalice bearers would consume any wine that remained after the communion had ended. She and I marveled that we experienced the same mystical occurrence - a burning like a sweet fire that enveloped the whole body beginning in the solar plexus region and spreading outward. Not the "high" of alcohol; rather the burning of transformation.
My third and final story that I can share regards "guilt" and the candle. One evening our seminar group was discussing the negative things we held onto even though we knew that God didn't. Kukula's was "guilt". She always felt that she didn't do enough for her family, for her church, for her neighborhood, for the hurting world. I asked her to take a piece of paper and write the word "guilt" on it and put it into the flame of the candle. I told her the light of the candle was like the light of God - ready to consume the negative. Well, she put the piece of paper into the flame and the paper didn't burn. The paper was not consumed. Every single person in that seminar group sat around the table dumbstruck. Finally, she snatched the paper from the flame and said, "See, I will always have guilt." I responded, "See, the light of God will always be with you and surround you no matter where you are on your journey." It became a shared group learning experience.
So how did Kukula manage the Hindu, Greek, Jewish, Episcopalian? That's actually a very easy question to answer. Tradition not doctrine. Kukula embodied the very best of each faith tradition. She embodied the one tradition shared by each faith - hospitality and the belief in shared meals. Everything important in life happens over a shared meal. Our (Episcopal) faith tradition teaches us this, as do the other faiths. You could never be in Kukula's presence without a hug, true love and if you were in her home - food!
Sweet Kukula, I will miss you dearly and all that you have shown and taught me by your living example.
What tasks do you remember Kuku doing at the Church of Redeemer?
Another memory is of her setting up the pancake supper each Shrove Tuesday, putting little floral nosegays on each table.
What words of comfort can you offer Kuku's family and friends?