#NikBeat Into The Mystic

The ‘farewell’ to Nik Beat at St. John of Norway Church, fell on the first day of autumn. It was warm and sunny, almost as if Nik had arranged it himself, to give us a warm goodbye.

church01 that’s a diet coke beside Nik’s guitar

When the celebration ended with the Beatles ‘In My Life’ combined with a touch of ‘Hello Goodbye’ I have to admit I teared up a bit. Both lyrics sum up a full life. The event, to me, was more of a bon voyage party – Nik was an explorer of the mystic; whether that was through angels, poetry, or music he was always seeking. The opening verse from Van Morrison’s ‘Into The Mystic’ played in my mind: ‘We were born before the wind/ Also younger than the sun/ Ere the bonnie boat was won as we sailed into the mystic/ Hark, now hear the sailors cry/Smell the sea and feel the sky/ Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic’

church02 Nik’ll help this guy with his manuscript

The service was a deeply emotional journey held in the framework of a rather dry liturgy. The emotional chords of the music, poems and memories of Nik’s friends & family held, to me, much more spiritual resonance & relevance than the scriptural promise of an afterlife.

A sweet solo violin version of Danny Boy started things on a real emotional note. There were heartfelt poems, songs and even Nik himself, from his recently recorded cd, to remind us of what he was taking with him on his flow into the mystic.

church03 Nik’s new writing workshop group

Too many people present to name, besides this isn’t a performance or event review but a farewell note to Nik to take with him. He’s left a strong mark on the lives of many people with his generosity of spirit, time and talent. But he was always a seeker and now his seeking has taken him to the next amazing vista on his flow into the mystic.

(sorry that my church pictures are a bit out of focus. I tried to be unobtrusive and fast when taking them). My previous Nik Beat memory: http://wp.me/p1RtxU-Te


This is a piece I wrote after the service for Jackie Burroughs – seemed fitting for Nik Beat as well.

. . . walk through . . .

her casket unadorned pine


unvarnished for burning

heavy even with three on each side

the gentle struggle

to get it up church steps winded me

all glad to let go

let it glide on the gurney

through the narrow granite arch


the vaulted cathedral

massive stained glass window

images promised resurrection


we followed the minister

a slow steady pace

he held aloft a silver cross

each a single hand on the casket

oppressive organ music

muffling the simple choir

I longed for unadorned chant

then wanted the droning reverential

minister’s voice smothered

too much scripted polished scripture talk

and none of the real in the casket





then her voice

previously recorded

“… I walk through … ”

all breaths held

to take in

her reading “ … I fear no … ”

sobs for this real presence

I looked to the casket

expect it to shake   giggle


next the rites

holy water sprinkled

dense incense wafted

I choked   gasped

air thick

smothered through the rest of the ritual


we walk the casket out

again the gentle clumsy struggle

out the narrow granite arch

the dead weight down the steps

to the hearse

where we all took a deep breath


it drove off into the sun


into the mystic

3 thoughts on “#NikBeat Into The Mystic

  1. How can one say it was a beautiful funeral when are hearts are hurting over such a wonderful soul. However there was so much love given back to a man who knew nothing but to love others we can. Beautiful tribute and poem. Thank you Duncan.

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