Cary Lu

Ellen Haas[hidden]

I have returned from Cary's memorial service greatly touched. The overriding theme of all who spoke was that he was a remarkable man and a good one. Remarkable for his mind, his encyclopedic knowledge, austere rationality, quirky perspective, and his wry humor; good in the Yiddish sense of "mensch" -- and the Chinese had a word too -- meaning moral, generous, full of integrity.

I, his neighbor, regret that I did not invade his privacy more! I would have loved to finish our intense conversations -- from which I would flee, overwhelmed, after only a few minutes -- about whether we are the spider or the fly in the web of technology.

My last image of Cary was a lovely one, and it has amazed me with its stirring loveliness. About a week before he died, I visited with flowers. He held my hand with strength, spoke softly and clearly , "We cannot choose our fate/" In his bed, he looked much thinner and older but what struck me was how he looked like an old Chinese wise person our of a different era -- and was full of serenity, composure. As I left I said something like "You look spiritually beautiful," embarrassed to blurt it, but completely taken by the fact that he did.

Ellen Haas, neighbor, recipient of Macfavors, watcher of Nathanial and Meredith, admirer of both Cary and Ellen.