Monday, June 20, 2005
On Thursday of last week, at 2:30 PM, my friend Nate Osborn died from complications related to cancer.
I met Nate through work with the East Timor Action Network, and he was one of the most devoted activists I've known. He was a "long hauler" -- he was involved for as long as I've known about East Timor; he served with the International Federation for East Timor's Observer Project; and he constantly gave his time to the endless list of tasks facing ETAN/DC.
Nate was also an indefatigably positive person (I can't recall a single instance of his having bad feelings toward anyone), and radiated a calm reassurance. He had a deadpan sense of humor, and took delight in the little things of life. After several hours of discussions and "decision making" in a conference room, Nate would lead the assembled ETANers through Tai Chi exercises to help us relax. Even after Timor Loro Sa'e won its independence and many ETAN activists turned toward other pressing concerns, I knew I could expect to see Nate at our national meetings, and I always looked forward to seeing him.
Nate was also one of the only ETAN folks who ever gave me feedback on my music. At one ETAN gathering back in the day, I brought copies of my album Viva Timor (now out of print), and sold them for $1.00 each. Nate grabbed one up right away and the next day (it was a 2-day gathering) told me how much he enjoyed it. He asked about the process I used to make the tunes, and every time I saw him, he asked about my latest work.
It's remarkably regrettable that, after nearly 10 years of working with this superb human being, the blurred, grainy photo-of-a-photo here is the only picture I have of Nate.
Good knowing you, Mr. Nate O. May you be at peace wherever you are.
Take the "Jew or Not?" Quiz. From JewsRock.org. (No, I'm not making this up.)
Today I'm listening to: Bill Hicks! (Only the good...)
MadWomen for Peace (incl. Diane)