Remembering Elizabeth Gips

When a graduate student at UCR, I wandered into the Muscoy commune and later there met Elizabeth known then as Betty. I liked her and my nickname for her was Apple Betty since that is a yummy dessert. She often made pronouncements.One silly one that I recall was her certainty that I should be one who brought forth children since my physical form is hourglass female. She believed, at that time, that my form was my choice as one who would be a Mother. I do not believe that sex is only for procreation and find it to be a spiritual path. Thus, I feel that my physical form is also not a requirement for procreation as having a child is not my path. I remember her telling of her success with sales of jewelry since she was always fair and did not take advantage of people she bought from. I liked her philosophical and heart-filled struggle with the business world. She was with Dean at the time. She could see his narrowness, and yet her heart always tried to see how people could be their best selves and at that time she stayed with him even though he was very difficult. She went off with Gaskin and became Elizabeth. The commune dissolved and I lost contact with Elizabeth.

I found her again at the Santa Cruz celebration of the Harmonic convergence. I read a poem there and then Elizabeth came forth to enunciate another part of the spirit of the gathering. I remembered her immediately since she looked not the least bit older. We had a joyous reconnection. She was glad to get some chiropractic care from me. Unfortunately, she was impatient with maintaining a treatment schedule. She did not like to make and keep appointments. That too was a part of her nature. Impatience is both a virtue and a vice. It enabled Elizabeth to get a great deal done. It also meant that what relief I was able to give her in opening up her breathing did not continue. She made that choice and a part of it was her intensity, being in the moment sometimes meant she did not remember how much better she felt after a treatment.

She wanted to spend some time with me and took me to see some special place at the ocean shore. Changes powered by the Great Mother had brought an immense amount of seaweed onto the shore in the area that she wanted me to see with her. I gamely followed her walking along the crunchy, gooey dying sea life. The smell was intense and the flies flew up in black clouds at our silliness to walk into the graveyard the ocean had created in a place Elizabeth had visited when it was beautiful and serene. I told her she had brought me to the Gesthemenee of the sea. We laughed together and Elizabeth could not play her flute at the spot she thought would be so beautiful that day.

For a number of years whenever I asked her how she was, she would reply "I am dying." I suppose, given how long she took, was part of her learning to deal with patience. I did not love Elizabeth's choice to stop treatment. I was frustrated by it. I do still love Elizabeth for being the strong person who chose her own path. We both knew that we are joined in the search for our human freedom. I know she is now learning some incomprehensible lessons about being outside of form. I did not visit Elizabeth in her dying, I had already walked with her through death and we had laughed then at how change is part of life.

I would like to thank Patty for being her love. You are a special man and I love you and wish you strength through this loss.

Sincerely in remembering Elizabeth,
Dr. Jeri Rose

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