|Remembering Tom Dougherty|
Tom Dougherty passed away peacefully at 11:30 AM California time this morning.
We had been making beautiful sounds with bells and gongs; Pauline's
windchimes were also sounding outside the room.
I am convinced his spirit is moving toward the light and know you will keep him in your thoughts.
Thank you for your support over the past difficult year and a half. We had such wonderful experiences during that time in Santa Fe, New York, and San Francisco with the Deep Listeners and those experiences are helping Tom on his journey.
Tom Dougherty died Thursday July 13, at his home in Los Altos, California from a brain tumor. He was 38 years old.
He graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 1984 and received his doctorate in Cognitive Psychology from the Claremont Graduate School in 1993. He was a Computer Human Interaction consultant, principally employed by the Interval Research Corporation, from 1995 through 1998. From 1992 to 1995 he was an Interaction Designer and Usability Specialist at Taligent, Inc. Tom was also an accomplished musician and composer. He attended several of Pauline Oliveros' Deep Listening retreats in New Mexico. He performed with Pauline and other Deep Listeners at Mills College, at UC Berkeley, and in New Mexico.
He leaves his partner of nine years, Harvey Lehtman, of Los Altos, CA; his mother, Nancy Atkinson, of Rhododendron, OR; and his brother, Douglas C. Dougherty of Gearhart, OR.
Some pictures of Tom have been posted by friends of his at the following web site: http://www.apresmidi.net/tompictures.html.
Goodbye Tom our dancer our french singer our choir conductor Tom we will miss your voice out there in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains I will miss your laughter I wish you a safe and smooth journey into the other realms the galaxies are greeting! Margrit
Tomster, Tomsterina, the Tommy-tom, Tim-tom the touchstone, Tim-tom Toonie-tune,
thinking about my Tomster, the Toaster Tomster, Tinkling Thomasinas
for all the tomster fans, twirling tunes for the Tomskina, Threading
Tiny Toms to Tommorrow, Taking Tommorrow to Tom-Town, Thanking the
Tommeister for his tidy tunes to Tune our hearts with him Famous Tomster
diaper-dance. The one and only Toe-mas Trickling Tinkerbells through our
Tickles, Bubbling tickles thinking of the Tom-ster, tickles bubbling to
your toes, flying up your body, filling up your body with twinkling bubble
tickles tracing the strength of the Tomsteroid! Taking hold of the
trouble-free tomster twirling safely to tommorrow, to tingling terrific tubs
of peace, tossed gently by his truly loving friends, lighting the way to a safe
tour of light and bubbles, each infinite bubble a neverrending kiss to his
twinkling truth of total thermometric tradewind transcendent soul.
Timpanicly, truthfully, truly sincerely,
Spoke to Harvey and Tom today. Tom was able to respond with a hi (his old California hi! which was a special gift as H. had just told me not to expect any response) and then I was left with the intensity of his listening over the Atlantic Ocean and into outer space while I attempted to express what he means to me over the ocean and back into outer space and down into his precious, shell-like, galaxy-like ear. Harvey eased this along with his compassionate voice responding to help verbalize the flow between Tom and me.(T. is smiling, he is kissing the phone, he is moving his eyebrow, etc.) Harvey told me they had had a wonderful year together. I will never forget Tom's dance solo in my Rose Mtn. opera "Signs and Wonders." He reminded me of the great Nijinsky, the Tartar eyes and the otherworldly consciousness so I described what I imagined him doing and with the totality of a Nijinsky and a Tom Dougherty he danced with just a little silk scarf of Heloise's tied around him artfully and danced before our closed eyes until the signal to open them. When people saw him in his magnificence there was an uproar of laughter which I had not expected at all. I felt a bit misunderstood and confused but everyone seemed happy, especially Tom so I went with it. The piece was called "Dance Nijinsky, Dance!" In my mind Tom will always be a dancer. Love, Abbie
Dear DLears, Yesterday an extraordinary thing happened. During a session of brainstorming by perusing through various editions of Dante's _Divine Comedy_, Bill was leafing through a large book of reproductions of renaissance paintings and frescoes of images from the third part of the "Commedia" entitled, Paradiso. As he leafed through an idea came to him: He asked me what the name of the chapel was in Santa Fe with "the miraculous staircase" and said that we should perform our piece "Music for the End of Time" there in memory of Tom Dougherty. I said I thought it was a great idea. Bill continued looking at the book and toward the end, stuck between the pages, were a few 3"X5" index cards. On top was a picture postcard of the "Miraculous Staircase." Bill was astounded and said, "Look at this!" We thought it quite a coincidence and chatted about it. After a moment Bill wanted to continue looking at the book. He started to move the index cards and was shocked again. The top index card said: "'Dance Nijinsky, Dance.' for Tom Dougherty." It was my long lost score to Tom's piece. Needless to say I was stunned to tears and so deeply moved I felt almost transparent. After a while we noticed these cards were in the book at a full page copy of a fresco from "Paradiso" depicting "A woman clothed with the sun" which is the final movement of "Music for the End of Time." Love, Abbie
I know it seems incredible but these things do happen! Two Valentines Days in a row, I suddenly came across Valentines Joe had sent me years before. I've had countless moments like this. I even had an experience one day when really distressed while driving, where a private plane drew the exact replica of Joe's "last piece" as he called it (it was never written) as if to say, I'm here, Wen, don't give up. These are all blessings! And a message that they are still alive....that love survives.
That experience you described was Tom...hi Tom!
I too have been thinking a lot about the yak-wackies or wak-talkies. And
"Whose your Supercot-playpen, Supercot-plaype en? You know it has been
almost a year since Tom's Plan B performance and I still haven't figured
out who my Supercot-playpen is. I may spend the rest of my life searching
for this playpen.
I remember well, as if from a dream,
It was very beautiful how Tom soared .
I have memories too,
tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom tom
I had the opportunity to visit Tom at his home yesterday and wanted to tell
you how he is. As Harvey had told me on the phone, Tom has been sleeping
alot. He did wake up just as I was arriving around 2pm, and he recognized
me before he fell asleep again. For the next hour and a half, he drifted
in and out of sleep while I improvised some lyre and shakuhachi. At one
point, he held the shakuhachi and seemed to enjoy the smoothness of the
bamboo. He looked very calm and wasn't experiencing any pain. Harvey
said that the hospice people have been excellent at pain management.
Friends have been dropping in to offer music and support to Harvey, Tom's
mother Nancy, and Tom's brother Doug.
Tom is in a hospital bed in a back bedroom that overlooks their garden and patio. There is an altar with a large vase of sunflowers, some quartz, a card of Buddha's face, and a picture of Tom with Pauline. It is very peaceful, with sounds of a quiet fountain and occasionally a wind chime (that Harvey said is tuned to Pauline's specifications.). It was a blessing to enter such a calm, sacred space, and an honor to offer sounds to Tom. The simplest sounds felt the best. It is at times like this that I am deeply happy to be able to play music.
As Harvey said, it is day by day now.
that pixie/elfin mountain
Najinsky floats roaring
through my dreams