For Marti

I just found out that Marti Kheel died today.  I don’t know what to do except to write about her.

Marti was a supporter, a mentor, and a friend.  Like no other.  I met her at an animal rights conference.  I had known that she was the co-founder of Feminists for Animal Rights and I wanted to thank her, simply thank her.  Little did I know what would become of that thank you.

I owe so much to Marti.  She didn’t have to support me.  But she did.  I don’t know why she was so wonderful to me after we met.  I don’t know why she reached out to me with so much little-deserved support and respect.  All I know is that she’s the reason Connect the Dots is what it is.  She’s the reason the idea from 2005 has kept going, amidst major life changes, tragedies, and simply daily living and subsistence.  I feel like in a way she made sure that I didn’t give up on it.  I never saw that until now.

Marti is the reason that my dream is alive.

I don’t know how to cope with the loss of someone who I never thought I deserved the respect of.  I don’t know how to say goodbye to someone who believed in me in a way I never understood.  I just have no idea how to let Marti go.

So I won’t.  Marti lives on through Connect the Dots.  She lives on through my commitment to feminist veganism.  She lives on through my committment to address sexual violence within the animal rights movement.  These are things she gave to me.

The wound of Marti’s passing is fresh and hurts incredibly deeply but I will make sure that her memory, her legacy, and her life is celebrated.

I will miss you Marti and my thank you extends forever.  You gave me courage, strength, and hope to no end.

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2 thoughts on “For Marti

  1. Marti sounds like an amazing person. One who lives on after her time here. We are lucky in life if one of these people appear in the ways that you describe. They are different from other people. Their friendship is an ever-lasting gift that sticks with us forever.

    My condolences,
    Lori

  2. Dear Ashley, I just joined you site today. How pleasantly surprised I am to find this commemoration of Marti…I too continue to grieve the tragic loss of this outstanding eco-feminst and kind-hearted human being. Like you, I found support from Marti that empowered me in so many ways. We met in the late 80’s, and I have been inspired by her writing ever since. Although I did seek her out for an interview that was part of an ecofeminist project I was working on at the time as an artist- a couple of years after we met, we weren’t in personal contact again until just a few years ago. I wondered what she was doing and where she was, so was thrilled to find her, even though the Feminists for Animal Rights website hadn’t been active for several years. I did have the opportunity to tell her how much her work had meant to me over time, and as a result of this connection began to share ideas with her for the cover of her book, Nature Ethics. I was thrilled to be able to support her in some small way, after all she had done for me, as I work in graphic design. Meanwhile, a wonderful photo by Marti’s nephew was selected for the cover and all I really did was make font and color selection suggestions for the book front, but our renewed connection evolved into Marti recommending me for a new anthology in the works, that has since been published by Lantern Books. I had never been published alongside academic before (I am a grassroots activist), but Marti had complete faith in me to contribute to ‘Call to Compassion: Religious Reflections on Animal Advocacy’ as an ecofeminist (also identifying as Wiccan). And so, ‘connecting the dots’ is what I have dedicated my own consciousness-raising efforts to in life, as well. In fact, my partner and I host a community-based radio show (currently on hiatus until we get our podcast happening) called “Connections”! which routinely includes news about animal advocacy, social justice and environmental issues. Anyway, nice to meet you, and thx very much not only for your tribute to Marti, but for all you do. 🙂 -Fireweed http://www.veganiculture.blogspot.com

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