Obituary: Ryan Callinan

Ryan Callinan graduating from Northwestern Connecticut Community College in 2015. Photo by Shaw Israel Izikson.
Ryan Callinan graduating from Northwestern Connecticut Community College in 2015. Photo by Shaw Israel Izikson.

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
absolute bestest

This tastes like revitalization. An infusion of life, breath,
reality, love

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
of slowing

Nothing Permanent

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

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