As part of the research on Isaac Bonewits’ biography, I’d hoped to be able to go to Pantheacon 2013.
Isaac spent much of his life in Berkeley, which in the 70s was a center for magical and spiritual development; for all I know, it still is. Many of the people Isaac knew in the 70s and 80s go to Pantheacon. It would have been a chance for me to meet them, conduct interviews, and learn more about paganism on the West Coast; it’s clear I’m pretty ignorant on the subject.
I was offered a lot of help in this endeavor. Kitty Crowe, who was one of Isaac’s friends in the 70s, was willing to let me use her hotel room as a place to conduct interviews, introduce me to people, and facilitate my presentation of program items on my research; I would have given a talk on preserving pagan history. (I’ve learned just enough about historical research to know how little I know about doing it.) One of my students was willing to come with me and assist with the routine tasks associated with the project: scheduling interviews, getting release forms signed, setting up recording equipment, etc.
Even though they weren’t going to attend the convention, I had the additional hope of finding time to visit Daniel Hansen and his family. Daniel was Isaac’s first spouse and the only one I’ve never met face-to-face (if you’ll include Skype video calls with Selene Kumin Vega as “face-to-face”).
I really wanted to go. Unfortunately, my health has not cooperated.
Last August I wrote a blog post explaining that my work on the biography was stopped due to health reasons. I have not been able to resume. At this point, I’m scheduled for additional surgery in December.
I’m still reasonably optimistic that I’ll get over this “health hump.” But I don’t think I’ll be fully recovered by February 2013.
I’ve already let hotel reservation and programming deadlines slip. I was aware that I was doing so, but I couldn’t commit to a convention if I wasn’t certain I could attend. At this point, the job of that assistant would be less performing secretarial duties and more like being a nursemaid to a sick man. I can’t do that to someone attending their first big pagan convention.
I realize that I’m letting an important opportunity slide by, but I don’t think there’s anything I can do. I also know that none of us is getting any younger, and there’s a possibility that some of the people with whom I wish to speak might not be at future Pantheacons.
It is now my hope to be well enough to attend Pantheacon 2014. Frankly, if I’m not well enough by then, I might as well drop the biography project; I’ll never be well enough to resume the research.
I’d like to thank Kitty Crowe for the assistance she offered. I hope to meet her, and many others, in February 2014.
Once again, please send me no healing energy. Please send it to all those friends and kindred of Isaac Bonewits, so they may have their chance to share their memories with one who is trying to preserve them.