Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Betsy Rose Rasumny Herbert (1938-2002)

Happy Birthday, Betsy. You would have been 71 today had you not run away with Mr. Death.

Wife of Nick, mother of Khola, Betsy was above all a dancer. And for her, dance meant, not pretty movement, but the practice of being present in the moment. "Take everything that happens as it comes, " said Lao Tzu, "as something to animate, not to appropriate." Betsy lived that maxim to the max, and by her example, taught her friends, me among them, to more fully inhabit this lucky gift of embodiment in human form.

In our semi-rural community along the San Lorenzo River, Betsy was a prime mover in Home Birth, in Home Schooling and, at the end, in Home Death. For Betsy, birthing, teaching, dying and everything in between were all about "learning how to move energy". Her aim was striving to live fully, even as this body-gift was being taken from her.

Here's Betsy's obituary.

And here's one of Betsy's reflections on The Dance:


Stilling the air charged by previous dancers
Inhaling and lifting, look about,
search for someone to dance with.

Couples waiting to meet:
The old familiar: Will I be chosen?

Who will be my partner?
Will I find a mate?
Can we move together?
Will you share my space?

Grouping, hoping
See me
Hold me
Love me
I'm beautiful
O look, feel, sense
How it is we move together.

This says it all:
What our bodies do together.
Don't leave.

O let's have been connected before forever.
Let's not ever not touch.


Jungle Girl said...

Betsy was an amazing woman and though we connected at the end of her life, she helped me bring new life into the world when she shared her wisdom and love in our home-birthing of Angelina. It's funny, Angelina was born in the midst of death, literally. Betsy and my father both died in 2002, my father on July 3rd and Betsy on August 18th- Angie was born on July 16th. I like to think that they both shared their spirit with my new baby, who, at almost 7 years old, is the wisest, oldest, most artistic, sensible, loving soul I've ever met in someone so young.

Here's to you Betsy!!!

Ginny said...

Wow! What a life-loving person was your wife, Nick... I would have been honored to have known her. I love your memorial obituary to her. -- Ginny

Tantra Flower said...

Betsy was an incredible Woman. I wish I could have met her. Thank you for sharing her story, Nick. I am so happy for you that you received such a blessing in your life. Her obituary alone is having a profound effect on me; I can only imagine what you must have experienced as her friend and husband. I don't know what else to say. I am wowed.

Thank you universe for leading me here today.

Peace and love to you, Nick. Namaste

Eleusis D said...

"She introduced the Navaho "Blessingway" ritual to mothers..."

Nick, this is *so* weird!! When I was birthing Quentin, 14 years ago, I started spontaneously spouting bits of the Hopi Blessingway poem: With beauty above and below, with beauty on all sides, he comes..."

Sweetheart, it musta been something in that July water. Her birthday is 2 days after mine.

thank YOU!!


nick herbert said...

Cancers make
good dancers.

dogfaeriex5 said...

beautiful, just beautiful..we have such special memories of betys...
~kim(marilyns daughter)

Hazel Culbertson Daniels said...


I just read your eulogy for your wife. I wish she could have been in your life longer than she was, but I suspect you have seen her often in these passing years and danced together in many ways. She is beautiful.

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