Our neighbour and friend Matt Dickson acting as MC and playing Akka’s Playlist of favourite songs which she asked Alan to help her compile.
Please scroll down to read the Tributes to Akka or click on the links to see and hear the recordings.
- Nadine Rabinovitch
- Natale Ghent
- Nango (Akka’s Sister) – Song for Akka
- Nina Richmond – Hallelujah for Akka (as requested by Akka)
- Anne & Andrew – Thank you
My name is Nadine Rabinovitch and I am Akka’s best friend. I just met a couple of women at my table who also claim to be Akka’s best friend. Please allow me to represent.
I met Akka in 1983. We became instant friends. I had just moved to Toronto from Montreal and had an obnoxious habit of speaking French to Torontonians to test their ability to speak French. Most failed miserably. Akka was the first to respond seamlessly in kind and in French. Akka was smart. I looked up to her. She inspired me with her passion for living authentically.
In a world that is so full of bullshit Akka was real. Real vulnerable and real powerful. She would suggest a piece of music, a poem, a book, a movie, a ballet or a podcast interview. In each case her suggestions were mind blowing. I looked up to her. I looked to her for direction in life. She was open to experiencing life and all it’s complexities. She was sensitive and brave.
And humble. Her humility combined with her intelligence, charm and beauty was disarming. She excelled at whatever she took on. Through all the struggles and joys of raising her sons- now beautiful, poised young men, navigating her way to Perth, actualizing herself; she was always evolving. She was a shining light for me. And not just for me.
I introduced Akka to my friend Fadul and we all spent a weekend at Fadul’s brother’s cottage. Akka preferred to stay alone in the boathouse than in the main cottage. She would return to the boathouse one more time and in her inimitable fashion re-arranged and tweaked the décor- much to the owner’s delight. During that same visit, so the story goes, Akka and Fadul canoed over to an island nearby that had a nice beach. When they paddled back Fadul realized he had forgotten his shoes on the island. He tells Ak he’ll be back in 20 minutes and takes the motor boat to pick up his shoes. Ak begins preparing dinner. But Fadul’s boat breaks down and he begins trying to row his way back to shore unsuccessfully against the wind until eventually he gets a tow from another boat. Now at this point it’s been an hour and 20 minutes since he left and concerned that Ak will be upset with him and dinner will be burnt Fadul looks up only to see Akka onshore watching him, doubled over in laughter.
She had a superb sense of humour.
There is a candle burning in Akka’s memory in the boathouse.
I am very lucky to have known her.
I have known and loved Akka for 15 years in this life, and many more in other lives we’ve lived.
My husband said to me once, “I understand why so many people love Akka. She is so attentive, so interested in everything you say and do that in her company you somehow feel smarter, funnier, more beautiful, more accomplished, validated and loved. And it’s true. Because in Akka’s eyes, you were all those things and more.
Akka was such a supporter, an appreciator, a listener, a thinker, a peeler of chickpeas, a tireless helper who would show up with a pair of secateurs and bag of compost over the handlebars of her bike when your garden needed nurturing. She was a wonderful audience and the most beautiful of friends, always quick to laugh and so much fun.
Akka was a devoted traveler, both inward and outward, an explorer, an adventurer, a child of nature – herself a woodland sylph with an uncanny ability to capture the spirit of something and convey it, delight in it, cherish it, no matter how small: a river-tumbled stone, a bird’s egg, a cicada carapace glistening against the rough skin of a tree.
It’s no surprise then that the words of a seemingly small poem could move Akka so deeply, it inspired her to change her whole life. That poem is Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Akka heard the calls and followed them here, to this beautiful part of the world and to all of you. And now she’s off again on a new journey, as is her way, exploring the Great Mystery. I can hear her voice now, and I will always hear her voice saying, “It’s really something, hey Nat?”
Farewell, beloved voyager.
Farewell, for now.
Nina Richmond – Hallelujah for Akka (the version chosen by Akka)