Kerry Pendergrast leaves legacy behind

Kerry Pendergrast, a dear friend to many away here in Ubud, passed at 11:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 25, at the age of 50, while getting ready to sing with her band, The Soul Doctors. Kerry was an inordinately unusual character, stepping to a very different cadence, a very different calling than what one might characterize as the norm. She was all about relating: to the natural world around her, which was reflected in her paintings; to her abundant and diverse friendships, the breadth of which surprised even those closest to her; to the music and songs that seemed to find nourishment within her before belting forth into a life that she gave them.

I remember the first time I danced with Kerry. We were surrounded by a group of salsa dancers, taking themselves very seriously, stuck fast to their discipline of steps. Kerry, on the other hand, threw her body around the dance floor, shaking and undulating in wild gyrations, listening intently to her own beat. Always the observer, Kerry actively sought ways to establish communion. Sitting cross-legged on the ground for hours listening and embracing what she envisioned around her, she would render it on canvas.

That ability to commune was so central to her character, for Kerry was one of those all too rare beings, who act as a bridge across cultures, across generations and across family, shepherding people into an understanding and acceptance of one another. As a consequence, she seemed like a kid sister to multiple generations of people, young and old, Indonesian and Western. She was, in that sense, never older, never younger, always a thoughtful engaged contemporary.   You see, Kerry didn’t judge others and find them wanting, unless they hurt someone she loved.

That in an age where so many find fault in others, find themselves superior and find themselves right is a unique decency. Though shy, she never let that get in the way of reaching out and listening, invariably finding ways to contribute her humor, and her often unique perspective, to buoy those around her. Oh don’t get me wrong, she was no pushover; she maintained her own very distinct personality and perspective. An utter original, smart, witty, ironic, extraordinarily well-read; these qualities were informed, enlightened and tempered by an acute awareness of her own vulnerable and sensitive nature.

The result: she had not a shred of arrogance or entitlement. As a consequence, she met others on their ground and often on their terms.   A mother to her children, she was also first and foremost their friend, casting off the mantle of parenthood and seeking out her children as coconspirators in the dance of life. To Tahlia and Emil and her husband Pranoto, her co-collaborator and fellow artist, and to her adopted family, Annie and Ida, I send love and prayers. To her legions of friends, we must hold on tight to the magic of her enthusiasm and passion, her humanity, her vitality of spirit and humor, and to her openness to the hearts of others, for she would not approve of any of us embracing regret. We can easily imagine the expression she would don at the mere thought of it.

source : bali daily

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