January 23, 2004

Memorial Program

Harry has converted the program to html.

It's a little lighter weight than the PDF file, for those of you with slow connections, but still quite beautiful.

Posted by ptomblin at 09:39 AM

January 18, 2004

Jean's Portrait

Portrait #1 - Jean Ogilvie

When Madeleine left England in her early 20's, determined to launch herself
in a new life, she found herself in a huge and wild country . Eastern
Canada, with its granite landscapes, boreal forest and civil cities was to
be home for the next 30 years. Although I first met her as a fellow
consultant in organization development, it was through a joint love of this
remarkable landscape that we became true friends. Maddy's spiritual self
was deeply nourished by her strong connection to the life and rhythms of
the natural world. She would respond to the site of meteor showers, the
aurora borealis, the sound of a distant wolf howl, a swarm of wild bees
with infectious enthusiasm, absorbing the event as a sacred moment and
cherishing it later over our own home cooking as she shared her
entertaining reflections on the day. With the promise of a glimpse of a
beaver dam, a fox den or a wild orchid, Maddie would hike, ski or snow-shoe
just about anywhere.

This connection to living things naturally translated itself into
gardening, a passion for Madeleine that resonated with her childhood
memories of cultivated landscapes. Favouring green and white gardens
herself, made me and her urban neighbours often the subject of disparaging
remarks over our "lurid" choice of flower colours. Her gardening
enthusiasm was put on hold for most of her time in Philadelphia with her
busy schedule and lack of space, but one of her last acts was to mail order
almost 200 daffodil, crocus and iris bulbs to plant into her new front
garden, barely 40 feet square.

From gardening, we also shared a love for cooking, especially things we'd
grown or were locally harvested, and usually cooked over charcoal.
Inspired by her charming compatriots, the Two Fat Ladies, we created some
famous dishes that have continued to be in demand by those we entertained
with them - smoked lamb chops, and tea-smoked cornish hens for example.

Working

As a fellow consultant, Maddie was unparalleled in her ability to quickly
see into the dynamics of organizations and name what she saw with a
combination of precision and wit that gave clients enormous insight into
their organizations. It was not always easy for clients to hear what she
said - for example "you're management team is behaving like a closed circle
of musk ox" - but it was usually delivered with enough compassion and good
advice for action that it was gratefully received. Working in tandem with
her, also meant signing up for her critical observations as well as
insights. In hours of conversations about what it really means for humans
to develop, and for ourselves as individuals to develop and grow, we
debated models, traded readings, faced our own blindspots and took on our
own commitments for development. It was not always easy to be "seen" by
Madeleine, but it was always worthwhile and I learned more about myself
than I had ever asked for.

Even as a brilliant and successful consultant, Madeleine continued to
hanker after what she believed to be her truer calling - working
therapeutically with individuals at a much deeper level. She herself at a
couple of times in her life had been reached and nourished by gifted
therapists so she had a deep understanding of the profound difference that
could be made in a person's life. She wanted to offer that back.

She struggled profoundly over the decision to return to school at 50 to do
the training required to practice clinical psychology. After what turned
out to be a 6 year struggle, she succeeded and to this day I have kept the
phone message she left me when she learned that she had graduated. It
begins triumphantly " well, you can now kiss the hem of my robe. I am Dr.
Page???."

Animals

Like many eccentric Brits, Maddy had an enormous passion for animals. Over
the years she contributed to countless rescues, of both cats and dogs,
taking them in herself, finding homes for them through friends and reliable
acquaintances. This does not mean that she didn't have preferences and
loyalties to particular breeds - say German Shepherds, and Maine Coon Cats.
She succeeded for example in placing a comical looking American spaniel in
our home over a decade ago, but then proceded to make fun of "my choice" of
a dog for the next decade on the grounds that spaniels are not adequate
dogs, certainly not up to the standard of German Shepherds. One of the
blessings of this whole experience was that Maddie did not have to put her
beloved Emily down. Emily died two days after Madeleine with a similar
disease. And all three cats - the prestigious Maine Coones and the brat
Harold have all found loving and deserving homes, an important fulfillment
of one of her parting wishes.

There is a photo of Madeleine posing as a scarecrow taken in Innisfree in
her early 20's that you will see later upstairs. Her caption for it was
"I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll stand my ground". That she did, and in
so doing was the source of inspiration in many domains for all of us. I
can't say how much I will miss this beloved soul.

Posted by ptomblin at 02:09 PM

January 17, 2004

Music from the Memorial

Musical prelude - Rittenhouse String Quartet
"Theme and variations"
--from Quartet in d-minor, Op. 20 No. 4 - Joseph Haydn

"Allegro ma non troppo"
"Menuetto: Allegretto"
"Allegro moderato"
--Mvts. 1, 3 & 4 from Quartet in a minor, Op. 29
("Rosamunde") - Franz Schubert

(N.B. RSQ were also prepared to play a string arrangement of the soprano
aria, "Mein glšubiges Herze", from Cantata 68 by Bach, but it was 2pm and
time to start the service, so they omitted this piece.)

First musical interlude - Rittenhouse String Quartet
"Andante"
--Mvt. 2 from Quartet in a minor, Op. 29 ("Rosamunde") - Schubert

Second musical interlude - Emily Kelly, accompanied by Charity Wicks
"Abendempfindung an Laura", K. 523 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(text by Joachim Heinrich Campe)

Third musical interlude - Jonathan Fink
Selection from unaccompanied cello suite - Johann Sebastian Bach

Musical postlude - Rittenhouse String Quartet
"Allegro"
--Mvt. 1 from Concerto in E Major, Op. 8 No. 1, RV 269
("Spring") - Antonio Vivaldi

Posted by ptomblin at 02:30 PM

The program

Harry's lovely program for the memorial service is linked here as a PDF file.

Posted by ptomblin at 02:26 PM

Madeleine's Last Words

MADELEINE'S LAST WORD
By Madeleine herself
Introduced and read by Jean Ogilvie


At the beginning of her treatment Madeleine faced some complicated
neurosurgery. As she was aware there was a chance that she might not
survive, she wanted to make sure she would leave instructions and
acknowledgements. She hastily wrote a note the night before her
surgery to be opened if anything happened to her. It seems fitting
somehow today to let her have the last words, saying thank yous as
she would have spoken them to us, her friends, had she had the
chance...

My love and thanks go to so many people - too many to list here. You
have been loving, generous and forgiving friends, and I thank you all
for making my life so much brighter and happier and more real than it
could have been without you. Thank you for your many, many kindnesses
to me, and for being loving even when I shunned love.

There are so many people to thank, and tell them that I love them. My
Psych friends. My on-line friends - the hats, and the hatless, and
the a.c. folks - friends no less than others, whom I've grown to love
and cherish, who've made me laugh and think and growl. Each of you
has made me feel loveable - against the odds, so often - and each of
you is precious to me and I love you. Thank you all.

There are dozens if not hundreds of people whom I've neglected or not
followed up with, which I regret. And so much I haven't done. But
life's been a good game much of the time. Love is what's kept me
fed, and laughter, and animals, and friends and food and flowers.
Thanks to everyone for everything. Forgive me my trespasses, please.

Love
M

Posted by ptomblin at 02:23 PM

Portrait of Madeleine as a friend, by Luce Nadeau

PORTRAIT OF MADELEINE AS A FRIEND

Presented by Luce Nadeau at the memorial of Madeleine Page at Ethical Society Hall, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, on January 10th, 2004.
Written by Luce Nadeau, edited by Angus Johnston


Friends,

Most of us knew Madeleine through one or two of her interests, and even those of us lucky enough to know her for a long time tended to see only certain facets of her life. But, of course, all of us here knew her as a friend. And for this last portrait, Madeleine the friend, I will try to share with you a bit of my Madeleine: the woman I loved, the person I quarrelled with, travelled with and worked with for the last twenty years or so.

Let's start by talking about the Madeleine I worked with. It is fitting to start there, as she was foremost concerned with making a worthwhile contribution to the world. I met Madeleine when she was doing a piece of management consulting for the organisation I was working for. We fought on the second day. The project schedule she had prepared allowed for no flexibility and I had promised my son that we would take a holiday together that summer. I wasn't about to give up. She called me unprofessional. I told her she didn't know what she was talking about. I got my leave, she got her project done, and done on time and well, we became great friends.

Madeleine was a very focussed woman when she worked. She would work at something until it came out right for the people involved. She would probe and scratch and question. I have become a better manager because of her but more importantly I have become a better person. Because that is what she did; help people grow into better humans, *humans*, as she was fond of saying.

We mostly worked in parks, taking walks, drinking wine in caf«s and eating in restaurants along our way. Most casual observers would not have known that we were working but on a second look, people could not have helped to notice the concentration, the deep involvement in the conversation. She did not go much for flip charts and overhead presentations. Mostly we talked. I raised strategic choices I needed to make for my organisation and she would ask me what my fantasy was for the organisation, what my fears about the future were, how I wanted to feel at this same time next year. She would challenge me and sometimes tell me I was boring her by *playing tapes*. That was her way to get me out of my rut, to stop me from repeating an idea over and over in an effort to sell myself on a solution my instincts didn't like but my head wanted to impose. She could be quite brutal at times. It was effective.

It's funny when I think back on it, how much my relationship with Madeleine involved so much walking in parks and in nature, eating and drinking and laughing and crying. After her father died, she was left with a bit of money and she wanted to do something *worthwhile* with it. We walked the moors of Somerset around where her father lived, it was springtime, we talked about how she could best use her inheritance. Our conversation was interspersed with comments on nature and what we were seeing around us. She explained to me the unusual nesting habits of the cookoo bird on one of these walks. And the beauty of our surroundings that changed day by day as spring flowers emerged, irises succeeding to daffodils, primrose and other hedgerow blooms; it was very healing for her. She always said that there was no spring in Canada where we lived, and *that* May, in Somerset, I understood why she felt that way.

Going back to school at 50 was a very big decision for her, a decision she was irresistibly drawn to but a gut-wrenching one nonetheless. We must have walked 1000 kilometers in the year preceeding her arrival in Philadelphia, while she was figuring out how she was going to make it work.

And we went to Viet Nam together that year. Off we went, two middle-aged women, dressed in wrinkled cottons, weighed down by backpacks full of what we thought of as the necessities of our relatively bourgeois lives, armed with a return ticket, a couple of books, a swiss army knife and 1000 US dollars each. We had a ball. We spent 6 glorious weeks travelling most uncomfortably by bus, train and boat all over the country. We tasted fried larve and drank snake wine. She loved the coffee in Viet Nam. Indeed, I think that's when she started getting *really* interested in coffee. Like two shoolgirls, we had great fun in getting taylor-made silk clothing: pants, dressing gowns, shirts she still wore 8 years later.

And we spent a very memorable afternoon in a Zen Buddhist temple outside Hue, the aptly named temple of the elderly goddess. Tourists arrived at the temple by the dozen in dragon boats, took three pictures and left. We thought ourselves so much more sophisticated. We had rented rickety bycicles to get to several ancient tombsites we wanted to visit so we were not limited by a tourboat's schedule. We stopped at this beautiful temple. The tourist *rush* had just left and we were the only ones there. Paths led us through a bonsa„ garden. We later found out from the monk who shared his tea with us that some of the bonsa„ were several hundred years old. There was a pavillion in the middle of the garden, it was open on three sides. On its slightly raised platform, in contrast to a beautifully painted simple nature scene in the backdrop, there was a dark table and four chairs. An exquisitely beautiful table with very simple lines, in complete balance, with harmonious proportions, its legs flaring slightly towards the ground. We both stopped in our tracks, Madeleine just touched my hand and we both stood there. It was perfectly beautiful.

To me, that is a true Madeleine moment. A fleeting moment in time where we shared something deep and meaningful and loving and beautiful. Beyond language we connected over such simple things and shared in them with equal joy.

In Dalat, we met a wonderful old Vietnamese gentleman. Very distinguished looking, who ran a restaurant. We went back to his restaurant two days in a row. He was a very learned gentleman who had been a professor of French litterature in a Swiss university and who had not been able to leave Viet Nam at the end of the war when he had gone back to visit his ailing mother. Madeleine spoke beautiful French, in her youth she had been an au-pair in France, learning the language. We engaged in conversation with the elderly gentleman, making a personnal connexion like only Madeleine knows how to do. Right away, finding the essence of the man, his deep pain, respecting it, not speaking about it, just speaking to it. Madeleine had bought a book of peotry written by Vietnamese soldiers, prisoners from both sides of the conflict. The poems were published with an English translation. She asked the gentleman to read some of them for us in Vietnamese. It was truly a magical evening. He, reading in his deep, deliberate voice, the musicality and the rhythm of the language were almost hypnotising. He explained the meaning and the nuances while treating us to copious quantities of snake wine, litterally, there was a large snake coiled at the bottom of the jar, bathing in the amber liquid. Another beautiful Maddy moment. Real, true, moving and a bit weird.

I could go on and on telling about these precious Maddy moments. I have many stored in my heart and I will always treasure them. I am sure each and every one of us here has many of these Maddy moments. We all have an email, a vignette, an experience that is truly unique and significant to us even though the event in itself might be quite ordinary in other ways. In our every day life, Madeleine gave us joy and friendship to treasure.

We have heard today of only a few of the manifestations of Madeleine's friendship. A poem she sent to a grieving friend, a person she made laugh with her wit, someone she inspired to do something good, the spicey foods she shared with many, her soothing words that spoke to our pain, her laughter, her delight in so many things. So many people have said that they are better today for having known Madeleine. Better daughthers, better fathers, better lovers, better friends, better *humans*. She was a very good friend to us all.

Your legacy will live on with us Madeleine. Thank you for your gift of friendship. Goodbye, Lovie.

Posted by ptomblin at 02:20 PM

Participative poem by Larry Hirshhorn

TO MADELEINE: IN MEMORIUM


We are present here to mourn
Dreams fulfilled and dreams ...(unborn)
Remember, and to celebrate
With some rhymes you'll help ... (create)

She was loved, and she was flawed
A brilliant mind with interests ... (broad)
Urban legends, coffee roast
Freud, I think she loved the ... (most)

She could name your stance and mood
Told your truth, though never ... (rude)
Joined you where you hoped to be
Named your strengths to set you ... (free).

Those who loved her came to visit
She was feisty full of ...(spirit)
A clumsy aide had hurt her thrice
She hit back, cause why be ...(nice)?

Her room was filled with food and gift
Her friends were present every ...(shift)
She gets an email, gets a call
Madeleine's a fire-...(ball)

How can someone with such passion
Who didn't care for fad or ... (fashion)
Whose sensibility's unique,
grow so sickly, grow so ... (weak)

Madeleine our anger's rising
Were you here you'd be ... (advising)
How to cope without you here
To live your absence every ... (year).


Madeleine who loved James Joyce
We'll miss your thoughts we'll miss your ...(voice)
We'll miss your love, we'll miss your mind
I think its us who's left ... (behind)

Larrry Hirschhorn Jan 10, 2004

Posted by ptomblin at 02:17 PM

Introduction to the Reading from Finnegans Wake

INTRODUCTION TO THE READING FROM FINNIGANS WAKE
By Angus Johnston


As Madeleine was slipping away, I made plans to come here to
Philadelphia to sit with her in the hospital. When I let the folks
on her email list know that I'd be coming down, a flood of people
wrote to ask that I pass along a message, or read something to her -
a passage that she had loved, or one that had power to the person
who suggested it.

One of the first requests came from Nathan Tenny, someone I'd never
met. "Read the Anna Livia Plurabelle section of [James Joyce's]
Finnegans Wake" to her, he said. "She is absolutely passionate about
that passage; it's a passage that was born to be read aloud; and it
already straddles the boundary between waking and dream states."

I'd never read anything by Joyce, and I knew next to nothing about
Finnegans Wake - only that it was supposed to be absurdly dense and
complicated. But several people echoed Nathan's suggestion, and
Misha Tepper, who lives not too far from me, offered to lend me her
copy of the book.

So I grabbed a shower, threw some clothes in a bag, and got in my
car. It was dark by then, and snowing, As I pulled up in front of
Misha's apartment and rolled down my window, she thrust the book at
me. It was, she wrote later, "a very odd moment: 'She's in critical
condition! Take this literature to her, pronto! ...a-and perhaps a
haddock, and some shrubbery!'"

When I told Nathan that I wasn't familiar with Joyce, he gave me
some advice - which I'll now pass on to those of you who share my
confusion. "You have to read slowly, for sound rather than sense,"
he said, "and not worry about trying to back up and fix the
inevitable stumbles." It looks like prose, but it has to be taken in
like poetry, or maybe even music.

I read all of the chapter Nathan suggested to Madeleine over the
next twenty-four hours, and parts of it more than once. The passage
I'm going to read now is about food, and about cooking for someone
you love, and about coffee. It's full of beautiful made-up words and
sentences that almost but not quite make sense. It's got a beat, and
you can dance to it. I can see why Madeleine loved it so. I'm
grateful to have had the chance to share it with her, and to share
it with you now.


Reading excerpt from page 199.

Posted by ptomblin at 02:14 PM

Introduction and Postscript to Oedipus Crow

INTRODUCTION AND POSTSCRIPT TO OEDIPUS CROW
Read by Maggie Newman, words by Angus Johnston


This is a poem that Madeleine sent to a friend of hers, Ian York,
when his father died. It was one of her favorites, and though it's
perhaps not quite the most obvious choice for a memorial, I think it
has a certain resonance.

[poem]

When Ian passed along this poem to us, he said that he and Madeleine
had talked about it quite a bit. She once said something about it
being sad that Crow always loses, but Ian said that that wasn't
right: "Crow never loses, even if he's temporarily down; he always
flips a feathery finger of defiance at the world or death or
whatever it is that thinks it has beaten him."

Here's to Madeleine and her feathery finger of defiance.

Posted by ptomblin at 02:11 PM

Portrait of Madeleine by Linda Hopkins

Memorial to Madeleine Page--by Linda Hopkins (January 10, 2004)


I have been asked to address in particular the way that Madeleine was
involved in the field of psychoanalytic psychology and her contributions
there. One of the most important things to say here is that Madeleine
was driven to study psychoanalysis. She sold her house and all her
possessions in Canada in order to get her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
and there is every reason to think that she would have gone on to become
a psychoanalyst. Madeleine lived psychoanalysis--she had been analyzed
in Canada and when she came to Philadelphia and to Widener, she was
always seeking out opportunities to work in the psychoanalytic
subspecialty of psychology. This is how I came to meet her--when I
introduced myself to her, wanting to know her, after hearing her
comments after a talk at the local psychoanalytic psychology group,
PSPP. I told Jane that Madeleine was a "find"--a new woman, our own
age, who had similar interests and a great mind. Madeleine ended up
doing an internship with Jane at Haverford College, which provides
psychoanalytically oriented treatment to students through the Counseling
Center--a position that she loved. Psychoanalysis was her passion and
she didn't mind that she had sacrificed so much to pursue it.
Madeleine did her dissertation at Widener on the topic of the work of
Donald Winnicott. He is a man who is perhaps the most influential
analyst since Freud, an English analyst who died in 1971 after making
major contributions in the subspecialty called object relations.
Madeleine focused on a particular aspect of Winnicott --she looked at
the fact that Winnicott is idealized as a kind of saint or perfect
mother figure, and she explored why that happened and what it implied
about Winnicott's personality. This was how she was: she liked to
deconstruct and critique things. It was why I loved to sit next to her
at psychology conferences--she was almost always critical of what was
being said, but her critique was in the context of respect for the
speaker and it was never malicious.
Madeleine barely had time to graduate from Widener, let alone start to
influence our field with her unique voice. Her dissertation, which I
knew well because I was on her committee, laid out the scholary base of
Winnicott's contributions and them proceeded with a brave and fresh
critique. People in the field know how rare it is for anyone to
critique Winnicott. Had she lived, I think she would have found a
publisher so that the dissertation could become a book and perhaps that
will still happen. Madeleine had a lot to say, but she had only just
begun to say it.
While Madeleine was writing her dissertation on Winnicott, I happened to
be writing a book about Winnicott's chief disciple, an analyst named
Masud Khan. It seems appropriate to quote from something Khan said in a
memorial to Winnicott, who died in 1971.
I think these words describe Madeleine as well as Winnicott, and perhaps
help explain why she had chosen him as a person to study: "[Winnicott]
could be so still, so very inheld and still. I have not met another
analyst who was more inevitably himself. It was this quality of his
inviolable me-ness that enabled him to be so many different persons to
such diverse people. Each of us who has encountered him has his OWN
Winnicott . . . And yet he always stayed so inexorably Winnicott." (p. xi)
Each of us has our own Madeleine. It is amazing to see how many
different people Madeleine was involved with, how many different kinds
of people. I am surprised as I think about it now how little I knew
about Madeleine's non-psychology worlds. Madeleine came from England?
She had half brothers there? She had been married, she had lived in the
Caribbean--doing what? Ottawa? Madeleine is hugely involved in an
internet community? Madeleine is mentioned on the front page of the New
York Times for her commitment to gourmet coffee? I don't know this
Madeleine, we never talked about these things.
My Madeleine was always "Madeleine", never "Maddy." She wanted to finish
at Widener, she wanted to write a high quality dissertation, she loved
being a psychoanalytic therapist, and she was especially interested in
working with the most difficult patients, including those for whom there
seemed to be very little hope. My Madeleine was intense, smart, funny,
somewhat vain about her looks, and a person who loved dogs. She was
never ever pretentious or fake and she was not at all afraid to speak
her mind. She is the only person I have ever known who called me
"lovie." She was my best new friend from the last decade. She entered
my life very quickly, very intensely, and now she is suddenly gone.
Masud Khan made a final comment about Winnicott: "He was one the likes of
whom I shall not see again." Madeleine too is one the likes of whom we
will not see again.

Posted by ptomblin at 02:04 PM

Welcome

WELCOME

By Luce Nadeau at the memorial of Madeleine Page at Ethical Society
Hall, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, on January 10th, 2004.


Dear Friends of Madeleine,

Welcome to each and every one of us to Madeleine's memorial. The
approach to this event is somewhat unusual given that there is no
family to receive condolences. We, all of Madeleine's friends, *are*
her family. We loved her dearly and we cared for her as she did for
us. This memorial is for all of us, to mourn the passing of our
friend and to celebrate her life.

Most of us knew Madeleine through one or two of her interests, and
even those of us lucky enough to have known her for a long time
tended to see only certain facets of her life. To have a complete
portrait of Madeleine, it will be necessary for us to share in our
knowledge of Madeleine and in our experiences of her.

The Memorial program was prepared, selecting readings and music to
her taste, most of what we will hear we know she loved, and even
though each selection is quite different from one to the other, they
all reflect who she was. As well, speakers will draw portraits of
Madeleine, talking about various aspects of her life.

After the more formal part of the event, we will all repair upstairs
for a glass of wine, a few bites to eat and for all of us to share
stories about *our* own Madeleine. Let us begin.

Posted by ptomblin at 01:53 PM