Ray Bishop was a close friend and colleague of mine who passed away in December 2008. What follows is a memorial I wrote for Ray. With the permission of his life partner, Carlton, I am also having Ray guest blog with an article he wrote titled, Bodywork as Meditation. I just re-read this article and got back in touch with how much I love it. Sharing it with others through my blog seemed a natural way to honor and pay tribute to a brilliant man that I very much miss.

Shaka Zulu, Ray!!!

Ray Bishop and I did our Advanced Rolfing® Training together in 2000 in Seattle. He and I became fast friends due to our mutual proclivity toward scatological humor. After class ended, Ray and I continued to stay in contact quite regularly via the phone. He could go on for minutes, if not hours, in monologues of standup comic proportions on subjects ranging from the time he experimented with drag to the challenges of being the “evil step-sister” when assisting a Rolf Institute training.

This was a PhD who did not take himself too seriously! Ray was a passionate reader and writer. Tom Myers’ writing was the gold standard to Ray and he endeavored to make his own rather intellectual prose more accessible to the average reader. I quote Ray:

Finished up some annoying changes on the most recent article . . . I have an unfortunate pattern of agreeing to review books that I have not liked . . . I never know what abominations editors will rain on my idiosyncratic labors of love.

In response to some challenges I was facing last June, Ray said:

I prefer surrendering to the Present, the Stillness, how Zen, how Long Tide, how Shaka Zulu. Enough of dancing in the esoteric, sorry, too many Eckhart Tolle CDs in the past few weeks. I need a good injection of hard science, a myofascial anatomy intensive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The intertransversarii reign supreme. Enough weirdness for one day.

shakazulu_cd2When I queried, “What the heck is Shaka Zulu?” Ray responded, “A very bad movie from the 60s. I just like the phrase which I once heard used by some whacko comedian to mean bizarre — as in ‘How Shaka Zulu!'”

So, Ray, how Shaka Zulu that I find myself writing this memorial for you. It has been a bizarre journey together and my life has been enriched through knowing you.

With much love,

Carole

© Carole LaRochelle, 2009.

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