Goodbye, Dear Friend

I was very sad to learn today that a gifted Australian poet, blogger and someone I consider to be a friend has passed away. Paul Squires, known throughout the blogosphere as gingatao,  has died at the age of 46 after an accidental fall. Brisbane resident, kind soul, and encourager of struggling writers everywhere, I am stunned that he is gone.

Paul was a critically acclaimed, published poet who leaves behind a large body of work. A man of fierce intellect and great humour, he always took the time to comment on the work of others and encouraged me no end.

Through Paul I met two of my favourite bloggers/writers ever – Gabrielle and Jason – I cannot thank him enough for turning me on to the creative brilliance of those two people I now personally regard as friends.

I also cannot thank him enough for restoring my faith in myself as a writer.

This afternoon I was distraught. I went to the park, near the canal, looking for a sign,  a photograph, something to allow me to pay tribute to such an incredible man.

I saw two beautiful sights.

The little bridge, crossing the canal, fading off into the clearing, edged with wattle and bottlebrush trees. I thought of him crossing it with the eye of a poet, turning normal everyday wooden bridge struts into something extraordinary.

Then I saw a wonder. A creature I think of as quintessentially Australian, much like Paul.

The little kookaburra, normally elusive, but perching on a gum tree today, very close by, watching.

As if he knew.

Farewell, dear Paul.

The world won’t ever be the same without you.

But whenever I see the little bridge and the lovely little Kookie I will think of you.


20 thoughts on “Goodbye, Dear Friend

  1. Two wonderful signs. That Kookaburra definitely knew something. As I was driving to pick up the kids from school a huge flock of white birds (not herons as he was always keen to point out) flew over my car, twice – it made me feel a little better – I think he’ll be in a happy place.


  2. sorry for the loss of your friend…had two blog friends myself this week that passed onto their next adventure…sounds like a great friend to inspire you on…smiles.


  3. I was very sad to hear from Gabrielle that Paul had died. He was a very talented writer


  4. Hi BRIAN:
    I am sorry you lost two good friends too. It does affect us, doesn’t it? His passing has crystallised something in my mind that needed to be focussed on. I never expected him to give me such a gift.

    Hi JULIET:
    It’s just such a shock. I am still reeling. Such a loss.

    Hi KATE:
    It is always hard to lose someone. Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot.

    Hi JOANNA:
    We have been losing too many good people, lately. It is very hard to say goodbye to them.


  5. A life tragically cut short but at the same time, a life that mattered. A life well lived. I am sorry for your loss Sel. sounds like a special man in so many ways. My post today may resonate with you…

    Hugs dear, G


  6. thank you selma, this is a loving tribute and beautiful photos, and i hope we will one day be able to come to terms with this tremendous loss. paul, gingatao, was a dear friend to me, encouraging as you say, and an inspiration. we are so lucky to have known him. his wonderfulness will not be forgotten, ever.


  7. Hi TEX:
    So young. With such talent. It is always sad when someone with so much to give passes. I will miss him a great deal.

    He was a rare breed. I will never forget his kindnesses to me and his encouragement of my writing. It is a sad day.

    It is. But we can fill it up again by not forgetting him.

    Definitely a life that mattered. I won’t ever forget him.

    Hi TIPOTA:
    We were lucky to have known him.It was a real glittering prize. So very, very sad that he is gone…


  8. Gosh so sorry to hear it. You’ve paid a lovely tribute, and I’ve no doubt that Kookaburra sat in that spot for a reason. Perhaps to tell you that your feelings and tribute were not only with you.


  9. Again, Selma, I am so sorry.Anone who inspires others, is gifted…and, a gift.
    I remember reading his comments at several blogs.I hope you feel lifted-up, knowing I am keeping you in my prayers and meditations, Selma.


  10. Hi JENNIFER:
    That little kookaburra was a messenger, for sure. It has given me comfort to have seen him.

    Hi JASON:
    Hugs to you, my friend. I know how sad you are about Paul. I am so sorry.

    Hi LISA:
    Absolutely. We are short on inspiration in this cynical old world. We have to cherish the people who inspire us. Thank you for your kind thoughts.


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