Friday, July 21, 2017

Paulus Berensohn Memorial Celebration

From the Penland website:

Paulus Berensohn Memorial Celebration
July 22, 2017
Penland School of Crafts
Penland, North Carolina

Come one, come all!
It is time to celebrate the life of Paulus Berensohn by circling together with joy and gratitude. You are invited to attend any or all of these offerings amid our day at Penland together. Note: If you cannot make it but would like to send a story, see below.

Our program, subject to change and invention:

10:00 AM - 3:00 PM: Visit Paulus’s home for a quiet moment of looking and reading

10:00 AM - 3:00 PM: Make Something Together in our Makerspace on the porch of Ridgeway

Anytime: WalkAbout! Hike the path to the top of Otter’s Knob on the Paulus Path. (Find the trail head sign just uphill from the Penland Wood Studio.)

2:00 - 2:45 PM: Choir Practice! If you would like to help with the singing in the Knoll Service, meet on the Dye Shed porch for chants and songs with Joy Seidler and others.

3:30 PM: Service for Paulus Berensohn on the Penland Knoll

Immediately following the service, join the procession from the Knoll to Ridgeway for Paulus’s SPLASH—his ritual early evening toast to the day with friends. Come raise a glass of (cheap) scotch and grapefruit juice “with a bit of nibbles,” as he would say. (We welcome food donations of light appetizers for this event.)

Invitation to ALL: Do you have a Paulus story to share?
Write/draw/stitch/paint/express the Paulus story you would like to give us! Create your story in a 8 ½ x 11 format on paper, cloth or ? and we will add it to the Story Thread Banner we will be building at Ridgeway. All the stories will later be saved in a Remembrance Book for his archive.

Send your story pages to Debra Frasier, PO Box 6, Penland NC, 28765 by July 20, 2017. Running late? Bring your page along with you to the Celebration and add them to the banner lines at Ridgeway upon your arrival (—but early sending is GREATLY appreciated.) Questions? Email

Visiting Paulus’ Resting Spot on Earth…
In the summer of 2016 Paulus set in motion a plan to create a “green burial” in order to minimize the ecological impact of his physical death and to, like his later pots, gracefully dissolve back into the earth with the help of rain, insects, and sun. (Last summer he even helped decorate his cardboard coffin with paint and paste paper.) He also elected to draw on Buddhist traditions in order to approach death with his “slow and savor” way, and this soul soothing passage was clearly felt by all who tended him. (Caverly Morgan has written an eloquent piece about this experience.) Visit for words and photos.) Paulus’ peaceful transition was aided by the wider community who came to sit in quiet with him in his living room before burial.

Part of Paulus’ mission was to use this moment as a way to “behave artistically” and to share what he learned from the experience. He encouraged photos and postings to help show more people about the possibility of a green burial. Along the way he often said to tell YOU that he welcomed visits to his new “change of address” on a North Carolina ridge, in earshot of a creek, at The Carolina Memorial Sanctuary in Mills River, just south of the Asheville Airport. If you would like to visit go to for directions.) Once there, cross over the bridge and take the right fork in the path going up. Look for the mound of fresh earth…

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