Passion = Truth? How Jeffrey James Francis Ircink Sees The World? I love when people are passionate about something. That surging of emotion is the one honest measure of what truth is. It's a truthful display of how a person really feels about something or someone at that particular moment. That passion IS truth.

About me...

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Greendale, Wisconsin, United States
Ex-producer of THE REALLY FUNNY HORNY GOAT INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, playwright, actor, singer, outdoorsman, blogger, amateur photog, observer & bitcher, Beach Boys groupie, Brett Favre fanatic, lover of everything Celtic and forever a member in the Tribe of HAIR. Spent most of my life in the Village of Waterford, a small town just outside of the Milwaukee suburbs. After 12 years in North Hollywood, Bel Air and Culver City, Cali, I moved back to Wisconsin in September 2009. No regrets - of moving to LA OR moving back to WI. Have traveled to Belfast, Ireland, Dayton (OH), Manhattan, Seattle, Cedar Rapids, New York, Miami and Sydney, Australia with my plays. Moved back into the Village of Greendale where I was born. Life is good.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Until we meet again, Michael.

I have one of my Imeem jukeboxes playing in the background and the first song to play is "Any Other Name", by Thomas Newman. You might recognize it if you were listening - it's from the movie, American Beauty. Fitting song for a blog post on my cousin Michael, who passed away suddenly last week and was buried yesterday in Wisconsin. It's melancholy and reflective.

As I'm in California, I was unable to attend my Michael's funeral yesterday. Obviously I would've liked to have been there for my family, particularly my Aunt Ruth and Michael's brother, Tom. It hasn't hit me that Michael's gone. He passed away five hours before he would've turned 40. Of the 15 grandchildren on the Ircink side (I'm the oldest), Mike is only the 2nd to leave us - my cousin John passed away at 11 months...oh - 20 some odd years ago. Life goes on, though no one ever said there wouldn't be moments that suck. my Uncle Bob's annual Pierogi Feast this past December. From left to right, cousins Michael & Tom Waite (my dad's middle sister's kids), Joe Nowak, my brother Jason with the fake looking goatee that isn't fake, and Paul Nowak.

I was outta the picture for most of the last 16 years or so (5 1/2 years in Iowa and 11 years in Cali) and when I was home the reunions were joyful but quick. I talked to Mike only a month or so ago on the phone but I hadn't seen him in years. Mike, Tom, Jas and I were particularly close growing up as we were closer in age and all boys. Whether it was shenanigans during the 4th of July in Greendale (shooting bottle rockets at each other in the woods behind their house), helping out Uncle Jerry (Mike and Tom's father, now deceased) on his ice cream truck, or just chumming around at Grandma and Grandpa Ircink's in Muskego, it was always a hoot when the four of us got together (and a yell-fest for Uncle Jerry and my mother). :)

I wish I had seen more of Michael over the years. Regrets are of little consequence now. Part of that was me being so far away; part of that was Michael. When we were younger, we thought the Ircink clan was infallible. That's not such an unusual thought really. Then my Aunt Mary (my dad's oldest sister - dad being the oldest sibling) died of breast cancer, then Cousin John (Uncle Fran's first boy, dad's youngest brother), Uncle Jerry (Aunt Ruth's husband), Grandma Ircink, Grandpa Ircink, then Uncle Tom (my dad's middle brother, the two being a year apart), and finally, Michael.

Michael was a great artist - I'll put some of his stuff on my blog sometime. He's probably doing a portrait of the Ircink clan in Heaven as we speak. Good luck with that - between the laughter and kibitzing and partying, he'll be lucky to get them all to sit still long enough. Course - he does have eternity, after all.

I leave you and my entire family with Welsh poet Dylan Thomas' poem, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" (1952). Perhaps his greatest work.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Do not go gentle into that good night, Michael. I love you. Always.

- Cousin Jeff

1 comment:

greendale said...

Jeff, That is a beautiful poem!
Mike's funeral was very nice. There were so many people there that the mass started 15 minutes late. He was a great artist and it's a shame there won't be any more of his work, but what he had done will be cherished forever.
Although I had just met him, it is still hard to believe he's gone.

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