I first met Jane in 1981 when I was working at the Bodhi Tree bookstore in Los Angeles. I had noticed her and immediately thought she was probably the most interesting person there. She was the “shift manager” on the floor where I was working. In those days, music was on cassettes, and the Bodhi Tree had a very large selection of music for sale of all kinds. So we allowed customers to sample albums by loaning out a WalkMan to them, which was a portable cassette machine with headphones. We’d loan them one along with a sample cassette of their choice. We had four large storage drawers of carefully numbered sample cassettes, stacked vertically from the floor up to waist height. I was filing some returned cassettes in the top drawer, and Jane opened the bottom drawer at floor level. Suddenly I felt someone biting my calf, hard. Startled, I looked down and it was Jane, with the most devilish grin on her face, looking up at me. In that moment I fell in love with Jane and we remained close and dear friends for the next 40 years.

Jane was a brilliant human being. She was in many ways a walking encyclopedia of knowledge, educated at Putney School where an alternative education gave her an artist’s nonlinear view of how to gather knowledge and information and create meaning across disciplines and categories. Her mind was always an alternative one. At times her humor was far out, strange even, but it always stretched and often delighted people’s imaginations beyond what they would expect. She was also a person of heart, of deep caring, for the Earth, and for human beings. She was so many things: a wonderful cook and pie-maker, a singer with a 4 octave range, a composer of songs and a poet, writer, and storyteller.

She and I shared a love of the East Coast, of forests and moss and fern, and often felt alienated from the California desert climate that we’d transplanted ourselves to. But LA gave us a great and always changing cultural canvas to find humor and exasperated delight in. We would take trips camping, driving to distant places, and on those drives, make up fun little songs and ditties which always had a silly and irreverent quality to them.

Jane and I loved to giggle. Her giggle was one of the most infectious giggles ever. We’d laugh and joke about all the hilarious and strange people in LA, dressed up or not, almost always unconscious of how much material they were giving us for stories we’d make up about them, or would end up as some of the drawings that would emerge in Jane’s voluminous sketchbooks. Wherever she went, Jane’s sketch books went with her. She had an arch and often savage way of creating from a single line an image that evoked a giggle as it captured a particular essence of her subjects on paper. And as a serious artist, Jane was unparalleled.

Jane and I both became exposed to astrology at the Bodhi Tree, as it was one of the languages spoken there. We both had our astrological Moon in Taurus, the Moon being one’s emotional center, and Taurus being about the Earth and aesthetics. We both lamented the decline of the Earth’s trees, her songbirds, and her rivers and streams. Jane remembered that when she was young she heard a recording of a birdsong, and began crying over being sad that one day perhaps that would be all that would remain of the wondrous creatures who fly above us and sing their songs.

As a young boy growing up in rural upstate New York, not too far from where Jane was in Vermont, I experienced an incident which has stayed with me my whole life. Outside playing softball in gym class, a bluebird was sitting on top of the catcher’s cage. I paid more attention to its song than the game. The class bully picked up a rock and threw it at the bird killing it on the spot. I was so horrified and traumatized at the time, and the event has served to me as a symbol of how human animals have yet to

Eulogy for Jane • Stephan David Hewitt Page 1become human beings. Jane and I often referred to this memory. She wrote a poem about it which I only recently found in a sketch book of hers.

You Bluebird lover

You who cry when

It is hit by boy’s stones. You who sing and draw and clean and do laundry and sweep and take out the garbage and make tea and make music and laugh. You Bluebird lover

you were just a boy then/now

you who teach/touch

you, Bluebird lover.

Jane had an artist’s soul, and lived her life as an artist. Artist with a small “a”, a generic way of being, of looking at and living life. She would never be categorized or tied to any one thing. Even when she became a therapist and absorbed all the different psych theories and could elaborate upon any of them at a moment’s question, still always her sense of living life was artistic, looking for the aesthetic in everything, not just what is pleasing, but also what is creative, balanced, the shadow and the light. We both loved Jung, and one day at the Bodhi Tree we discovered that both of us were seeing the same Jungian therapist! She was strongly political, and yet she’d use her artistic sensibilities to make numerous bumper sticker phrases, such as “Peace It Together.” Or in dealing with the endless and exasperating traffic in LA, her bumper sticker was “You Go On Ahead”.

Jane has gone on ahead of us all. She slipped out just as she would when we got together, never a long goodbye, but just, “hey I’m leaving” and she’d be out the door. I’ve had some dream communications with her since her departure, and the last one I had was I saw her walking down a street in a New England-like town with her full head of long brown hair, walking determinedly away from me after I tried to hail her, moving steadily forward toward her next adventure.

Jane has changed every one of us who knew her, has made our lives more full of love, more delightful, more creative, a little crazier, and a lot more fun than it was before we knew her. We will never be the same, having been a party and a witness to her beautiful soul, which was forged and shaped by great challenges in her life, and also a great determination to overcome those challenges. She was a heyoka spirit, which is the sacred clown archetype to the Lakota and Dakota peoples, one who is a contrarian, a jester, and satirist, who speaks, moves and reacts in an opposite fashion to the people around them. She awakened that spirit in me, and helped to enliven my life and thrive in its irreverent truth, that we must love and lose, have both joy and suffering. She was that spirit which is always questioning, always curious, courageously compassionate, and always with a commitment to kindness.

August, 2022

Eulogy by Stephan David Hewitt

Come on over baby be my guest

Lay down your weary weary head upon my breast

I will not enfold you to keep you near

So come on over my darling dappled deer

I will just breathe with you so you know

That we are living/loving

until it’s time for you to go