R. Mark Woods

Mark lived in the small town of Perth, Ontario, Canada, and published the Web log ("blog") titled "Wood s Lot" for nearly a decade. It was a compilation (or aggregation, if you will) of posts found elsewhere on the Internet, primarily focused on exceptional writing and visual expression. I always found it very heartening to go there, and often passed it on to others.

But then it stopped—freeze frame—on 13 July 2016. I kept checking nearly every day, and worried that something had happened to Mark. [Wyeth is not a bad place to stop, but…] I sent him several e-mails but heard nothing back.

A big problem with what I call "virtual friendships" is that we really know so little. Mark didn't write about himself. The closest I came was in the photographs he made and posted on his blog. This was a sensitive and intelligent man, whom I wish I could have known better.

But my worst fear was realized, and his brother kindly wrote the other day to inform me of his death from cancer this month.

Damn! And double damn!

"Winter Swing" by Mark Woods

Although I didn't know you, I will miss you, Mark.

And thank you, ever so much, for sharing your spirit with us.



Edward Wilson said...

My sympathies to hMark Woos' family and loved ones.

I followed this most remarkable blog off and on through the decade. It was a sanctuary. A place away from daily wreckage. My feeling each time I came to it was very like what Machiavelli described when he entered his library to read the classical writers:

When evening comes, I go back home, and go to my study. On the threshold, I take off my work clothes, covered in mud and filth, and I put on the clothes an ambassador would wear. Decently dressed, I enter the ancient courts of rulers who have long since died. There, I am warmly welcomed, and I feed on the only food I find nourishing and was born to savour. I am not ashamed to talk to them and ask them to explain their actions and they, out of kindness, answer me. Four hours go by without my feeling any anxiety. I forget every worry. I am no longer afraid of poverty or frightened of death. I live entirely through them.

I am sorry for your loss and the loss to all of us.

Ed Wilson

Robert Nixon said...

I also wondered what happened but googling turned up nothing until I saw your post tonight.

I didn't know the man, never communicated with him, but I, too, will miss him. His blog was on my Safari top sites opening page, and I went to it nearly every day to find a new gem of thought or vision or poetry, all of which could also be found in his photos. It was a haven, as Ed Wilson describes, and a great big window.

Thank you for letting us know. I'm sorry we won't get to follow him anymore. But posts dating back to 2004 are available (at least as of now) on the Wayback Machine (https://archive.org/web/); some of the images are missing, but it's still a rich source of what he offered us.

Rob Nixon

am said...

All this time, I've wondered what happened to Mark Woods and have been checking at wood s lot every so often. I've Googled before in search of an answer but until today found nothing. Surprised, but not surprised, to learn that he was born the same year I was. There was so much that he posted that had been or became part of my life. It must have been 2007 when I became aware of Mark's blog. Thank you for your post.

Kind wishes,

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post.

I, too, will miss Mark and his beautiful posts. I don't remember when and how I came across wood s lot but once I visited the blog, it stayed with me.
I also tried to find out what was going on after the 'freeze frame' but nothing ever came up. I suspected something like this could've been the reason. I do wish I had known him personally - he seemed to have very delicate emotions and perception of what surrounded him. Every once in a while I would click on his 'who' page, only to enjoy again his ... understanding of what matters in life. He is forever 'listening' now.