stories and memories

How did Margo’s life and work affect you and your community?  What was the impact of her particular integration of justice and spirituality?

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16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan
    Sep 14, 2010 @ 23:08:28

    Friends, please share your thoughts and messages in this comment thread.


  2. Susan Partnow
    Sep 20, 2010 @ 01:07:22

    Is the beautiful design of this website based on Margo’s own artwork? It is so lovely: blessings to all whose labor is bringing this fruition.


  3. Karen Hutchinson
    Sep 21, 2010 @ 17:11:45

    Margo became ill after I had been struggling with a serious illness for a couple of years and it was her courage and her constant positive vision that set me on a new tract to healing. I believe I am here today as a direct result of Margo’s deep compassion, her unfailing positive vision and her love for humanity. I will miss her as we all will and I thank her each day for the new vitality she brought to my healing journey.

    Love to her and to Bill


  4. Ashley Fent
    Sep 21, 2010 @ 20:10:05

    I never knew Margo as well as a lot of people on this site, but I just wanted to contribute to this wonderful celebration of her life. During her treatment, Travis English and I had the opportunity to drive her up to Vancouver BC. Throughout the ride, she talked with us about the power of spirituality and meditation, the impacts we can have on our own lives, and the unseen ways in which we are connected to communities beyond ourselves. I continue to be inspired by Margo’s strength of spirit, her commitment to justice, and her willingness to teach others how to put positive intentions into practice. With love -Ashley


  5. Yalonda Sinde
    Sep 23, 2010 @ 16:01:59

    I have so many fond memories of working with Margo I’m not sure where to begin. She was always supportive of my local and national environmental justice campaigns and she would pull together key players in the movement for very important discussions. She was always there for me when I’d contact her and always had something sweet to say no matter how much time had passed since we last spoke. My last email communication from her was on August 31st just two days before she passed. I told her I was going to come and see her and she said she would like that. I did not get to see her right before her passing and am very sad about this. I remember attending group meetings at her house and how healing her teaching was. Her work was so holistic. Not just about caring for community but caring for oneself AND community. She had a lasting impact on my life and activism and I will miss her humor, loving spirit and realness. I could always trust her to tell me the truth.

    Journey on sister Margo. You will always be in my heart.


  6. Betsy Leondar-Wright
    Sep 24, 2010 @ 08:20:58

    “They are falling all around me
    The strongest leaves on my tree…
    The teachers of my life are moving on
    Oh, death comes and rests so heavy…
    But I’m not really gonna leave you…
    It is your path I walk
    It is your song I sing…
    It’s your strength that helps me stand…
    I will try to sing my song right
    Be sure to let me hear from you”
    — Bernice Johnson Reagon

    Farewell and thank you, Margo


  7. Allen Corben
    Sep 26, 2010 @ 02:16:51

    I met Margo through NOMAS. I think it was my very first mid-Winter meeting at the Hotel Durant in Berkeley, CA. I can remember her clearly at the table with other women and men doing the business of a small non-profit attempting to tackle the intersection of the oppressions. Again and again, I found her insight and feedback immensely valuable as I came to understand more about what it means to be a pro-feminist man. It was she and her other feminist sisters who began to show me what accountability looked like, to show me why men doing pro-feminist work ought not act without attending to the feminist women in our midst who could help us… help ME see when I was merely re-enacting male privilege despite my best attempt to do otherwise. I took those lessons and they continue to help me today.

    I stayed at her Church Street home for a night while I went to the Undoing Racism workshop put on by The People’s Institute For Survival and Beyond, and I always appreciated her hospitality toward me.

    Thank you, Margo. Your poetry and prose, your passion, advocacy, and insight will be sorely missed.


  8. Myra Levy & Charlie Varon
    Sep 26, 2010 @ 21:01:01

    Memories of Margo – Sept 26, 2010

    We’ve been thinking of Margo since we heard about her passing–missing her, remembering our times together, and reflecting on the many ways she’s affected our lives and how we see the world. It’s hard to imagine the world without her.

    We were closest to Margo during the late 1980s and early ‘90s, when she was living on Church Street in San Francisco. As always, her life was full—of NOAR, art and culture parties, John and Casey, frequent visits from Shea, Green Letter and Green gatherings – and always energy circles and psychic trainings.

    Margo was devoted to her family, her friends, her community, and above all to social transformation. Unconfined by schedule or structure imposed by a workplace or conventional nuclear family, she invented her life from day to day and moment to moment. More than anyone else we’ve known, Margo lived in the world of possibility and flow. Of course, this made it almost impossible to plan anything with Margo. To meet her for lunch could take six phone calls.

    Margo was an innovator and unself-conscious about it. She didn’t STRIVE to be an innovator; it just seemed to come naturally to her. A lot of the way things were in the world – and the way people were accustomed to thinking about them – just didn’t make sense to Margo. She invented her own idiosyncratic form of sliding-scale fee structure for her workshops and classes. She took the Silva Mind Control training and developed it into something broader – intuitive problem-solving – and then she ran with it. Even homeownership was something different in Margo’s world. Art and culture, politics and spirituality, the personal and cosmic – all of it was one canvas for her, all a continuum without meaningful boundaries.

    Although Margo was full of ideas, writing did not come easily to her. Many of her writings were coauthored by Shea or others, and for many years she brought everything she wrote to the two of us for editorial input. We worked hard to turn her spirals of thought into linear prose. She rarely took our suggestions – but before long she would bring us the next piece of writing to look at.

    We also called on Margo our during times of need or crisis—she was always a steadfast and reliable friend. These last few weeks, we’ve been trying to remember how we spent time together—mostly talking, if not officially meeting, and eating. And drinking ginger tea. We remember Margo’s laugh, her artwork, her matter-of-fact pronouncements. “There’s no such thing as a coincidence.” Although, “There is, of course, objective reality!”

    Sometime back in the early ’90s, Margo and Myra co-facilitated a large gathering of East Bay Greens. Myra came home feeling enthusiastic about the experience and said, “We’re the perfect team. I understand order, and Margo understands chaos!”

    We send our love out to Bill–and to Margo, wherever she is. It seems now as though she’s no longer just in Seattle, but is everywhere.


  9. Nancy White
    Sep 30, 2010 @ 06:47:26

    Just brief connections, brief encounters but we all felt your spirit, Margo. Much love and beams to all your dear loved ones and friends. Thank you.



  10. Barbara Willer
    Oct 03, 2010 @ 19:42:47

    I considered Margo one of my Anam Caras. While we didn’t see each other often because I live in Portland, we were always connected. I will miss her presence in our community. Much love to you Bill. I share this poem in Margo’s spirit.

    from the book
    May I Walk You Home
    Joyce Hutchinson/Joyce Rupp

    Leave Taking
    Sandra Bury

    (When death begins to call)
    When the coming of your death
    became an awareness on the planet
    some wondrous events began.
    The word went out that you were preparing to leave,
    to leave this place that you call home.
    The word was heard by the wind
    and it promised to blow
    under you and push you.
    The clouds heard the wind and
    billowed for joy.
    “You may land on us and float for a while.”
    The rain said, “I’ll wash the air clean,”
    while each star polished itself to a
    brilliant shine.
    In the presence of your impending death
    the earth prepared to send you forth.
    The gravity that had held you so tightly
    began to lose its grip.
    It called, “Let loose, Let loose,
    Let loose and fly.”
    As you began to float, a squirrel
    noticed and remembered;
    remembered how you saved,
    saved those things that were important.
    He told the rabbit, who told the turtle, who told the bird.
    “He/She’s coming,” they whispered.
    The bird sang your memories a joyous release.
    The song was heard by a lone wolf.
    The lone wolf stood on a cold tundra
    howling her appreciation of all the
    lessons you learned so well.
    Some distant great pines heard the howl and knew of your leaving.
    They swayed, releasing their fragrance to waft with you.
    The fragrance was gathered in
    by the swiftest of hawks, flown high
    with the wisdom that the great hawk knows.

    The hawk told a passing eagle who swooped and soared until,
    finding your spirit loose on the wind,
    carried it forward to a joyous rainbow.

    The rainbow said, “Come, I’ve been waiting,
    The colors are all for you!”
    When the moon heard this, it shouted,
    “Prepare! A life well lived is approaching!”
    The stars again polished their shine
    until the illumination penetrated the system.
    Your soul saw and knew it was going home.
    Home to the light, home to the sun and home
    beyond home, beyond home.
    And it met with all that it had always known;
    the silent and brilliant mystery.
    The source.
    The entire mystery burst with the splendor of
    “welcome, welcome, we have been waiting.”
    The source, with all the ancestors gathered round,
    enfolded you and danced your coming.
    While far away, in the world you had known,
    a group of your loves and friends
    gathered to speak your praises,
    to sing your leaving and
    to forever remember.


  11. Cheryl Honey - Community Weaver
    Oct 04, 2010 @ 07:55:33

    Margo, I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to know you in this lifetime. We shared some good times and supported each other in our monthly ED circle. You were always so kind and generous. I’ll always remember the day we sat in circle and you shared your experience at the Joanna Macy workshop. I felt the deep burden you carried about the times we live in and watched you work tirelessly to transform lives and awaken people to their potential. You and Bill threw great summer barbecues and I always met the most interesting people at your house. We embraced for the last time at the Compassionate Listening Project a couple of months ago. You looked so radiant and you made me feel welcome. In fact, that was what I appreciated most about you. You always made me feel welcome and had a special way of honoring us all. Your legacy will live on in many forms and bless many lives for generations. We will miss your presence among us, yet know you are free from pain and will continue to reveal yourself in new ways. I will continue to seek your wisdom and remain steadfast in weaving a new world as we move into the great turning. I’ll always cherish the times we spent together and appreciate your warmth and friendship. Your passing is reuniting many of us and causing us to appreciate the times we have spent together and sparking new possibilities. You are a blessing and I’ve been blessed to have know you.


  12. Roberto Mendoza
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 22:04:10

    I first met Margo when I got in touch with NOAR people in the 1980’s. The I started working and meeting with her during the period of the first Bioregional Congresses – Michigan, Maine, Northern California (with Starhawk) and the early Greens/Green Party usa organizing (Estes Park, CO, Elkins, West Virginia, Minneapolis, etc) . I found her to be energetic, intelligent, fearless, full of ideas and very supportive of my own organizing and thinking. I spent time with her in her house on Church Street and a little in Seattle with Bill. I helped her with some of her work in Eugene, OR and Washington State. The last time I saw her was in Detroit for the USSF, when she welcomed me to share pizza with her and some of her friends and colleagues. I was always glad to see her and work with her.
    It is painful to realize that friends sometimes leave for good, but she will always be in my memories as this vital force of nature.
    Roberto Mendoza


  13. Ron Dickey
    Oct 25, 2010 @ 09:46:26

    I just heard of Margo’s death from her sister Nancy.
    Margo and I played as children together at her parents adobie house Coralis New Mexico. My parents were good freinds and coworkers at the UNM Press.
    We vistited them in Arizona on the Navajo Resv. where John, her father, did research and wrote many of his books at. I last saw her with her mother Cassey when they came to visit my mother, after my fathers death in Atascadero California. She was mature and just as interesting.
    She was always a favorite person of mine. and I will miss her.
    Ron Dickey


  14. Sara Miller
    Nov 04, 2010 @ 08:51:27

    I am sadden to learn of Margo’s crossing, yet know she is in a good space. She was so kind as to come to my little hometown of Howell, Michigan to give a presentation. I have owned her books for years. It was such a pleasure to meet Margo in person. She brought a vast and deep wisdom of knowledge to my life.


  15. Thea Beasley
    Nov 04, 2010 @ 15:38:59

    I was just now looking for any new info/mediations from Margo on the internet, and came across the saddening news that she has recently passed away.
    I first found “Working Inside Out” over 20 years ago, at a crucial point in life, and it made a tremendous difference to me. I have gifted the book, and recommended her work to many others over the years. Just a year or so ago, frustrated at the continuous falling out of pages of my old, battered, taped-together copy, I learned there was a new version, “Practical Meditation for Busy Souls”. It sit by my bedside right now. I just this last weekend recommended it to a couple new friends. I read it last night to guide and soothe me, and make me whole and better.
    I regret I never had the chance to attend one of Margo’s retreats or workshops. I can only imagine how powerful and effecting she must have been in person, as she has been such an impact on me through her printed word.
    With great, bereft condolences to her partner, family, friends, and loved ones.
    Thea Beasley


  16. Jill Singer
    Nov 15, 2010 @ 08:44:12

    I have known Margo since December 1992 and had the pleasure of helping to edit one of her books in 1994.

    She was a dear friend and colleague, enormously generous with her time and a great co-worker when we ran mediation groups together some 15 years ago.

    I always believed that Margo’s work was important to her community and the world. Her passing is a big loss to me personally and to everyone who had the privilege to know her.

    Jill Singer


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