Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dear Readers:
This science teacher from Dana Middle School wrote about the service and the impact of the death of San Pedro Dana's Middle school special education teacher, Kimberly Larsen.

Kimberly's funeral had a big impact on me. I've always wondered what it would be like when I experience that moment, that true once-in-a-lifetime experience, death. I've always tried to rationalize it with a mix of spirituality and science, thinking that we're matter/energy, and we're the universe itself that has become self aware of itself through its own Infiniteness. And being one with this One self aware Reality, being this eternal Energy that precedes time and the physical limits of the universe, I've always tried to convince myself that there's no such thing as "death."
Kimberly's passing has passed through the veil of such "philosophical" ramblings, and made my heart heavy. I took the attached picture of her less than a year ago, where there was no signs of anything wrong and suddenly...this!
How am I going to rationalize this one? At her funeral, as I watched a full cargo ship disappear over the horizon, this poem came to me and I wrote it as fast as I could:
once Born in a world of Form,
from place to place on earth we roam;
entangled in the Web of Time,
we resonate as a faint chime;
once in a while our waves overlap,
filling our soul without a gap;
and then comes time for us to Go,
to our Source of Ceaseless Flow!
Although the ship merely journeyed over the horizon and I know it didn’t cease to exist, our lives are fragile and short indeed. Let's enjoy every second and take every opportunity to be a kind and loving person for all the living (our own creation)…like Kimberly was....
Dear Readers: Mr. Kimo Harris sent this to me after I left the publication of MoreSanPedro, where I served as a columnist for nearly four years. I appreciate his comments and thought you might enjoy reading them...Diana

Aloha Mr. Editor,

My name is Kimo and I'd like to applaud one of your columnist for the "More" publication in San Pedro. Her name is Diana Chapman. We subscribe to the Sunday Daily Breeze, and I find her work to be worthy of being in a paid publication, yet please be assured that I am delighted that her work is being published period. And to have it in a free publication is truly a community service.

We started reading the More on a regular basis because of Diana. It is my philosophy that the news oriented columns are more suited for the Daily Breeze, and with the More being a "San Pedro" community paper, it's refreshing to read a column that exclusively deals with concerns directly affecting our community. To read Diana's column gives a reader insight to ways of improving our citizenship within our own community which will have a direct impact on the South Bay as a whole. For too long, San Pedro has had an unfair reputation in some corridors of the South Bay. I have been here for over 19 years and know of this rep first hand. Diana has taken the course of action that challenges our community to look inward, and she's given us the tools to do so. One example would be her column about the Supervision aides at Dana Middle School. It was a call to all parents that when your child's safety is at stake, the unnecessary verbal abuse towards these aides is counter-productive. Sure they know who these parents are, but they are not in the business of monitoring each child's whole life. Therefore, one way to provide a safe environment for all students is to monitor who is on campus by requiring valid identification. The jist of this column was to enlighten parents to the positive impact of this effort. This brings about more cohesion and cooperation between parents and the school, which is a big plus for our students and the community at large. Another example would be her column entitled "The Tale Of Two Cities", talk about speaking the truth. I believe that this column is profound and that it will only enhance readership. And her most recent column in the February 3rd edition is a solid example of the value of her columns. It has inspired debate, and it also inspired me to write this letter. I have attached a copy of my response to her column and would hope that you could find the time to read it.

So in short, I believe that Diana is truly providing insight that any community could use, and that we in San Pedro are the fortunate beneficiaries. A consistent dose of wisdom can only catch on and spread like wild fire. I was raised in Hawaii and have seen first hand that the strength of a community is a direct result of the humanity within that community. Face lifts, economic progress, and so on, are just attachments to the character and spirit of the citizens within in a community. And it always starts with one sincere individual to step forward. Diana is one such individual. And this citizen of San Pedro thanks you.

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