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In Memorium

Thomas Hine

"I want my life to be a good strong one - not strong like a Mr. Universe, but like a good strong cup of tea, full of flavour." - Thomas Samoht Hine

This post is in tribute to my friend and down-the-street neighbour Thomas Hine, who many in the Mythic Arts community will know from his West-Country Folklore group and blog. Thomas passed away on Wednesday morning, at much too young an age. My heart goes out to his wife (painter/poet Lunar Hine), their young daughter, his beloved aunt and extended family...and to everyone in his wide, wide circle of friends here in our village, and far beyond.

In addition to his work as a folklore scholar and blogger, Thomas had trained as an archaeologist, and was also an artist, fiddle player, and organic gardener who loved all things mythical, magical, hand-crafted, and home-grown. That's Thomas above, arranging an exhibition of his artwork at the Courtyard Cafe here in Chagford ... and below on fiddle, making music with Jason Hancox, Steve Dooley, Rima Staines, and Howard at an Equinox bonfire last spring.

I knew that Thomas had heart problems, but he was so full of life and joy that it was easy to forget this about him -- so when the ambulance came speeding onto our road I feared for the health of various elderly neighbours, never dreaming that we were losing our Thomas. It seems just a blink of an eye ago that Howard, Victoria, and I were dancing at Lunar and Thomas' wedding. Yesterday we gathered again, this time for our friend's burial procession, celebrating his life with music, art, pagan prayers and folk pageantry. Thomas believed in the magic of myth and the land, and now he is part of that magic.

I wish he had had many more decades of time to make his mark on the Mythic Arts field ... but his life was indeed a strong one, just as he'd wished, full of flavour, full of art, and full of people who loved him.

He will be missed. And he will be remembered.

Musicians at Spring Equionox bonfire 2011

Edited to add: Rima Staines has written a beautiful post about Thomas, and his very folkloric funeral, here: "The elf with the upside-down heart."

May Day Bonfire photograph by Thomas Hine 2011

Comments

Deepest condolences.

The greatest loss is for Thomas' family, who loved him and were loved by him the most. But I wanted, with this post, to acknowledge Thomas' work, for this is also a loss for the Mythic Arts field: for the books he didn't have time to complete and the art projects that were still in progress. He was working on a book of Westcountry Folklore, among other myth-inspired projects; and his Westcountry Folklore blog had become a terrific resource, full of information and stories that were otherwise hard to find, or in danger of being lost altogether.

It's a loss for everyone who cares about myth and folklore.

I don't know what to say, I don't know what to say, and I know there's nothing I can say anyway that makes a blind bit of difference. Terri, please give Lunar and 'Pickle' an enormous hug from me, my heart is aching for them. I want to do something, help somehow...if there is ANYTHING you can think of that I could help with, even 10 000 miles away, please drop me a line. I've loved reading Lunar's blog for over a year now, her lovely writing and art, and her beautiful stories about everyday life that bring quiet joy.

ooh goodness that's such sad news...all my love goes to all of you, even though I'm a stranger and halfway across the world. It's always so terrible to hear of the loss of such people, so unfair. I'm glad to know that his family has such a loving and supportive community around them to help them through this xxxx

A great loss indeed. I don't quite know what else to say, words can seem like empty vessels at times. Having followed both Lunar and Thomas' blogs for a while now, I'm genuinely saddened to learn this news. As Nadia so eloquently put it, it seems such an unfair thing to have happened to a genuinely lovely sounding family.

My heart goes out to Lunar and 'Pickle' and obviously Thomas' wider family and friends. I hope Lunar will eventually be able to find some comfort, knowing that Thomas touched the lives of many people like myself through his words, his art, and his sheer passion for keeping all the wonderful myths and folklore of our country alive in our hearts.

What a tragic loss.

When I reflect on my passionate love for the mythic arts, I realise that one of the things that appeals to me, that involves me the most, is the characters. From the classics of the genre, well thumbed volumes wearing the marks of experience, to the most modern of releases that I need an ebook reader to enjoy, the stories are populated with characters I can become involved with, care about, love. I read on because I have become involved in the lives of these characters and I care about what happens to them. I re-read because of how my life has been touched by their stories, because my own life is enriched by those words on a page or a screen.

Slowly but surely I have been drawn into following the mythic arts community online. One blog links to another blog, which links to another blog and soon I am following a myriad of new stories and discovering new tales - except these are not the lives of imagined, created characters but the lives of real people, people who live creativity and imagination. The magic of creativity and imagination is woven through all and my own life is enriched by looking through their eyes at their view of the world.

Over time I have ended up following the blogs and websites of so many of the little community that has centered around Chagford. From Rima's blog I ended up here, from here I branched out to discover Luna and on and on the warp and weft is woven. Blogs written by people I have never met but universally they are people that I have come to love, grateful, so grateful for what I have learned, discovered, experienced because of what they have shared. I don't express that gratitude enough. Their lives have been woven into my life and I visit their blogs with the same relish and enjoyment as picking up the next installment of a favourite tale.

But these are not characters, they are real, very real people and reading of Thomas' death cuts sharply and cuts deep. How the tears in my eyes on reading this post must be multiplied many times by those who had the pleasure to know him I can only imagine. There is nothing I can do to offer comfort to those whose hearts are pierced the deepest by this loss, much as I wish I were able to do so. But I can remain grateful for all that Thomas' life has added to my own, from his stories to his pixie doors and all in between.

Love and a hope for peace to all who know and love Thomas Hine.

I am so sorry to hear this,please pass on condolences to the family.Obviously I do not know them but it is sucha sad time for them and for you their friends. Life does seem so unfair sometimes. All the best Angela

Ohhhh - dear - my heart breaks for Lunar and Pickle.... and for the loss of his incredible work. This life is so.... intense.

Sadness, loss and disappoint seem to bourne on the wind. And now it has reached my special place. Such a loss for the mythic arts community and for all of us who believe. Healing thoughts and blessing to his family and friends. May we all go gently into the next phase of our lives.

This is a great loss for us. Thomas knew more about the West Country than we'll ever know. Condolences...

I didn't have the privilege of knowing Thomas but I know Lunar and little Ember so I know he was a very special man. A familiar, friendly face, a family man - pushing his daughter on the swings at the park or out walking ..... and always smiling. It is hard to accept that he has gone, that the world will move on, that the sun will go on rising. My heart goes out to Lunar and to Ember who have a long road ahead. I am so very sorry for your loss, Lunar, but so glad that you have Ember who will get you through your darkest days and help you learn to smile again .... Much love xxx

Can't quite believe it, Such a sad loss for everyone that knew him, but especially to Lunar and Ember. Our hearts go out to you both, try to remember the happy times during this dark period, and remember the people of Chagford are here to help you through.

Oh no. I'm so very sorry to hear about this.

So, you see a little of what we have lost... but also a little of what we have yet. This community, locally and globally, is a tap root I am drawing on daily.
Thank you Terri.
Thank you all.

Over time I have ended up following the blogs and websites of so many of the little community that has centered around Chagford. From Rima Staines blog I ended up here, from here I branched out to discover Lunar Hine and on and on the warp and weft is woven. Blogs written by people I have never met but universally they are people that I have come to love, grateful, so grateful for what I have learned, discovered, experienced because of what they have shared. I don’t express that gratitude enough. Their lives have been woven into my life and I visit their blogs with the same relish and enjoyment as picking up the next installment of a favourite tale.

But these are not characters, they are real, very real people and reading of Thomas Hine’s death cuts sharply and cuts deep. How the tears in my eyes on reading about it must be multiplied many times by those who had the pleasure to know him I can only imagine. There is nothing I can do to offer comfort to those whose hearts are pierced the deepest by this loss, much as I wish I were able to do so. But I can remain grateful for all that Thomas’ life has added to my own, from his stories to his pixie doors and all in between.

Love and a hope for peace to all who know and love Thomas Hine

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