Ryan Callinan, a native of Madison who graduated from Northwestern Connecticut Community College (NCCC) in 2015, died in late September.
Callinan was well known at NCCC, being named one of the Students of the Year in 2015.
He also was a participant in the college’s Mad River Literary Anthology, a recipient of the college’s All-USA & All-Connecticut Academic Team Award, awarded several scholarships including the Central Connecticut State University Merit Scholarship, George L. Sherwood Scholarship and the Professor John F. Ferguson Memorial Scholarship.
Callinan was a frequent performer at The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center in Middletown and Passiflora/The Farm River Cafe in New Hartford.
Callinan was a freelance reporter for The Winsted Journal for two years, reporting on the aftereffects on the Naugatuck River of the Toce Tire Fire of 2014.
He is remembered by friends as having a great love of nature and an adventurous spirit.
Marvelous Meandering by Ryan Callinan
From The Mad River Literary Anthology 2014
It is a marvelous meandering of the most miraculous sort
Exploring the art of wandering wondrously has become
the only sport
Worth practicing. Smiles of astonishment perpetually
painted upon us
Things now are not as they were. The newness of dawn
Seems to have permeated everything
We see instilling utter freshness
The stale seems to have died and been replaced with the
This tastes like revitalization. An infusion of life, breath,
Not only does this surpass what dreams can only reach for
This might only be the beginning of
Something that never has to stop growing
Every new flower blooms uniquely beautiful with no signs
I’ve been advised to be fearlessly thorough
But sometimes, I still want to deliriously burrow
My head in the sand. Run away from now
But I can’t. It’s like I have forgotten how
Almost as if I am not allowed
What was no longer is. Tis been plowed
Cleared free by a decision to live
An ostrichless existence. Time to give
Up to gain. Keeping by spreading
To cease is fatal. To choose beheading
Over all that is and can be; I think not
The false holds no sway. I no longer see the cold as hot
Nothing permanent but death and mathematics
Well maybe beauty, too. All else temporary, even the plastics
Some things take longer to pass than others
I won’t be that long. That’s why I now recognize my
Surrounded. Always was. Just refused to see
That along with most of the truth. Reality
Ceased to be a threat when I stopped running from it
I proceed prudently, knowing that what is done cannot be undid