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Article ID: 3281
Age Group: Adult
Posted: January 29th. 2001
Adam Dylan Schleimer
by Peg Aloi
Update 8/1/2001: On July 14, 2001, friends and family of Adam Schleimer gathered at Brushwood Folklore Center in Sherman, NY, for a memorial circle to honor his memory. Sirius Rising festival was in full force, and many people who were there early for Starwood were also in attendance.
Adam left us to go to the Summerland in January of this year. It was a difficult loss for many of his friends, some of whom only got to see him once a year at Brushwood. Adam was a part of the family called Babylon, a diverse group of people who come together once a year at Brushwood and form a close-knit community. We come from Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and elsewhere. The first thing we say when we arrive is "Hi honeys, I'm home!" Adam was our little brother.Full Memorial
Initial Coverage My friend Adam was killed in a multiple-vehicle accident on January 26. Those of us who knew and loved him, remember a vibrant young man full of life and vitality, with seemingly everything to live for. To have him taken away so suddenly from us is shocking and sad.
I first met Adam in 1993, at my first Starwood. He was part of the small community known as "Babylon", a group of friends who met at Starwood about ten years ago and who camp together every year. We have grown larger with each passing year (around 50 at last count), we now maintain an online list to keep in touch, and we travel from far afield to converge in July in western New York each summer, from Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Texas and Vermont, to create our community with our chosen family and be with other friends at a month of pagan gatherings at Brushwood, a rural landscape of meadows and ancient oak woods.
Adam was quite young when he discovered the pagan community, and his friends have marvelled over the years at how far he came and how much he grew as a person, from the tough-talking, macho (but sweet) Staten Island boy, into the sensitive, creative, buoyant man we knew. Many of his pagan friends commented often on this growth; I hope Adam knew how proud we were of him, and how he inspired us all with his constant striving to become a better person.
Adam had a heart of gold and his generosity and kindness knew no bounds. He worked hard and played hard. Adam had many interests and talents (typical Libra! I remember us both being tickled to learn our birthdays were only one day apart, right at the Libra Scorpio cusp, and I think part of our connection as friends was our shared astrological traits: a Libran love of beauty and pleasure and a highly-social nature, and a Scorpionic curiosity for learning about new things). I remember many online chats with him when he was getting into cooking last year, and he would describe in tantalizing detail the latest dish he had created, and urge me to come visit him so he could cook me dinner. I always thought there would be plenty of time for us to do this. Ironically, my last contact with him was also online, about two weeks ago. I sent him an instant message and we chatted briefly. He was really enthusiastic (lots of exclamation marks!) and said his life was going great; work was fun, he was really enjoying his relationship with his girlfriend, it seemed he had everything going for him. I told him how happy I was for him, how much he deserved it. As sad as I am to have lost him, it comforts me to know how contented he was with his life.
Adam was always a very active guy with an underwear model physique we were all envious of. He started getting into martial arts and yoga in recent years. He said yoga changed his life. One of my favorite images of him is from last summer at Brushwood, when he would arise in the morning before all of us, and start playing a CD of sensual, rhythmic meditative music, and do his yoga postures with a serene smile on his face, stretching and moving in the early morning light while the rest of us emerged groggy from our tents in search of coffee.
Because many pagans find they are truly among their chosen family and closest friends only once a year at gatherings, the changes we go through are that much more dramatic than what we'd notice in those we see more frequently. Adam's changing tastes in clothing (he was a clothes horse like me!) were a subtle way that showed his growth and confidence in who he was becoming. Four summers ago I helped him pick out a sarong at Brushwood and he was dismayed afterwards when he realized not only was it a rather revealing, but its bright pink color (which looked great against his dark tan) perhaps looked too feminine. This was when his tastes ran to heavy duty workboots and sweatpants and mesh tank tops. By last summer, he was wearing the flowing gauze pants and loose shirts and sandals of the martial arts student (or the well-dressed pagan!), at ease in his body and being and sexuality in a way that made us all realize, "Hey, this guy has come a long way in the last ten years!"
Adam made me laugh. His odd sense of humor and absolutely unforgettable way of phrasing things (in that wonderful New York accent we teased him about from time to time) always surprised me and made me think. I was proud to know him and he was one of my most treasured friends. I loved him. He showed me how alive and happy it is possible to be, how fully we can live from day to day.
Adam, my friend, I never dreamed I would lose you so soon. I will miss you. And I will live my life more fully, more happily, full of hope and curiosity and laughter, because of what you taught me.
your friend and birthday buddy,
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