8/31 – Bill Torbert

August-November 2017 / Letters to Russ

Russ was the constant, good-natured background of the integral movement.  Wherever two or three or a hundred people came together around an integral theme, there was Russ recording, interviewing, laughing, appreciating others, asking the apt question, encouraging your writing, helping new work to appear — especially, of course, through the Integral Leadership Review and, more recently Integral Publishers.
I never knew Russ well, but still he seemed like an old friend.  No moment was more ‘Russ’ than when I called him a little over a year ago and told him Hilary Bradbury and I were have some trouble getting Eros/Power: Love in the Spirit of Inquiry published because of ‘lawsuit’ fears.  Before I could go any further, he cut in and said “If you’re going to ask whether we can publish it, I guess the answer has to be ‘Yes’ because I’ve told others I would publish anything you ever offered me.
In one fell swoop, Russ had done the fastest business deal with me I’ve ever done with anyone, had displayed the most collegial trust most overtly in a single gesture (remember: he hadn’t seen he book), and had offered me the kindest compliment about my writing I can imagine.
When the background disappears beyond the horizon, the horizon itself and all the figures in the foreground disappear too.  It will take some time, some tears, and some prayers to bring the world back into focus.
Hail, Russ, and farewell!
Bill Torbert

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