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Tree Wisdom

4 Aug

Kim wrote this poem on January 24th, 2014 and asked that it be read by her brother at the close of her memorial. So many people in attendance asked me if I would give them a copy that I thought it best to share it here.

Tree Wisdom 

If there is anything 
I have forgotten 
To tell you, 
I trust the trees
To whisper in your heart,
Ancient wisdom 
That you and I 
Have heard before
And will hear again.
We have been
Together always 
Collecting the silent
Sacred words of the 
Druids, fairies, wood sprites, gnomes –
Listening for the murmur
Of the sap rising, the respiration of the leaves 
The stately still bubbling of
Resplendent in the green and brown
Spanning heaven and earth, 
Reminding us of who we are
Yet rooting us here. 
Take shelter in their shade 
And know that I am with you 


Ithaca, NY Celebration of Kim’s Life

25 Jul

A celebration of Kim’s life will take place at Stewart Park, on Sunday August 3rd at 9am in Ithaca, NY. The setting will be informal and surrounded by nature in front of Kim’s favorite place (Cayuga Lake). Please bring blankets or lawn chairs if you would like to sit. 


Kimberly Marie Kathan Pijanowski, a mother, teacher, scholar, and yogi, died on Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 9:04 pm surrounded by friends and family. It is often a custom to announce the passing of someone who dies from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by saying that today, “she won her battle with ALS” but Kim won her battle with ALS long before her last breath. She chose to banish fear and embrace each moment of her life as sacred. She opened her heart and continued to forge new and deeper friendships throughout her illness. She doggedly sought ways to improve towards becoming the person she aspired to be. In short, she rejected the notion that she should be defined as someone who was dying and instead embraced the life of someone who was living with a terminal disease.

Kim always found a way to take the ordinary opportunities in her life and shape them into an extraordinary experience…

People often study hard; Kim almost always got the highest grade in the class.

People go on vacations; Kim took a year off to hike national parks and ski out west.

People vote; Kim quit her job and helped Hillary Clinton get elected.

People visit Washington DC; Kim went to the White House Christmas party.

People learn how their government works; Kim was paid by the United States Congress to learn how the government works through a prestigious Madison Fellowship.

People take a yoga class; Kim lived at the Kripalu Yoga Center to learn how to teach yoga.

People are not afraid to look silly dancing at weddings; Kim did an imitation of the Elaine dance from Seinfeld that would bring the house down with laughter.

In many ways Kim did the same things other people did, she was just able to do them with more enthusiasm and less fear than most.

Kim’s legacy includes a bright, precocious son with a love of healthy food, a keen sense of adventure and Kim’s eyes, hundreds of students who were inspired to work harder and reach deep into their communities to make a difference, countless friends who carry her light in their hearts, and a loving family that raised her, supported her, and played with her all of her life, including her dear brother with whom Kim shared a bond unbounded by time or space.

She lived passionately, shared her light freely, danced wildly, cared deeply, worked intensely, and played with her heart wide open to all the possibilities that her life offered her.

2012 in review

2 Jan

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog and we thought it would be interesting to share. We are working on a year in review blog post of our own that should be posted within the week. Happy New year to all of our old friends, family and the friends we have not met yet…

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 15 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.