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Joan Walsh
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MAY 21, 2009 11:20PM

Sad news about Dakini Dancer

Rate: 124 Flag

In our world of cyber-relationships, it's hard to know how to handle news like this, but many of you noticed that a poster named "Niece of Dakini" posted tonight on Dakini Dancer's blog to tell us her aunt, Josie Ortez, died suddenly on Wednesday. I sent a private message to "Niece of Dakini" -- Judy Kelley -- and she confirmed Josie's passing, at the age of 61.  She collapsed in the swimming pool at her gym, and couldn't be revived. "The family is stunned, I was very close to her," Judy told me.

She confirmed what I'd seen, on Josie's blog and then when meeting her at our OS party last month:  "Josie was in great spirits lately. She had told me how she enjoyed meeting you. I know she was having a good time with her blog on OS."And we were having a great time with her. She was a fervent defender of Hillary Clinton during the primary last year, never missing a chance to call out misogyny when she saw it. On Open, she's been more playful, as you can see from her last post.

Judy will let us know about her memorial soon. I'm sorry to confirm this bad news. Josie, you will be missed.

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She always had too much love in her, it had to come out. She was so free with giving that love to us. I will miss her terribly.
Although we never met, I feel as if the universe got smaller tonight. I'm sorry that she's gone; I take some comfort knowing she died while swimming--doing something she loved.
I send out condolences to her friends and family. Thank you for letting us know, Joan.
I am incredibly stunned and saddened by this. Josie was always full of spirit, enthusiasm, and encouragement. Even though I can't say I knew her in body, I will miss her soul. Should we have a wake of sorts? A live blog Irish style with a few kind words and shared sentiment? For now, I will bow my head and wish her good passing. I'll miss you Josie. Damn.
*sigh* Thanks, Joan.

If there's any donation information for a charity to donate to in her memory, I'd really appreciate the info.

She will definitely be missed. What a great spirit she was here.
Thank you for the update/confirmation on what is sad news. Open Salon is a community of eclectic souls: caring and loving people. Dakini is now dancing with the angels.
thanks for finding this out joan. josie was as kind and down to earth of a person as any i met here in OS, and barely a day passed where she didn't make me laugh. i'm really going to miss her.
-----------------------------------------------------
She always encouraged me to keep at it. This is just awful.
I appreciate the update. Somehow it seems fitting that her last post was Nekkid Glory - so full of light. She is truly one with the Universe now.
::sob:: She was always so sweet to me! Really, I'm crushed.
What a shock for her family. She was a lovely, lively lady. She will be missed.
This is terribly sad. I really have no words.
What awful, tragic news. I can't believe Dakini's gone. I loved her spirit; she seemed so full of life. Her passing will definitely leave a huge hole in the fabric of Open Salon. No doubt she'll continue to dance in our memories.
Among no lack of reasons for me to cry in recent times, tonight I shed my tears happily, in stunned sadness, to be sure, but also in joy for having had the good fortune to meet Josie and to feel that we made a connection I will always hold dear.

She was a bodhisattva, that DakiniDancer and she will be back to help us on our paths.

Om shanti, shanti, shanti - peace, peace, peace.
A death in our family. Our OS family. She was so loving...I'm grateful I got to know her a bit. Prayers and thoughts to her family.
oh man, we were supposed to meet at some point soon, she was so free spirited and well free and led with love. I am so sad. May she rest in peace
Joan, thank you for finding out this information.
So sorry to hear this. Dakini "Josie" was always a wonderful soul and I felt blessed to get comments from her because she had a pure and beautiful spirit. Rest in peace.
Classy and funny to the last, and then gone in a blink.
How very sad for her family and for us -- her OS family.
The fabric of the universe has shifted, re-arranged, is continuing with a golden thread missing. I had been thinking of going to S.F. for Samhain (Halloween) and seeing her. Gotta go to bed now, but gonna get up in the morning and LIVE...live live live until I die.

Dakini/Josie - merry meet, merry part and merry meet again...
Shocked, surprised and sad.....
I sent out heartfelt condolences to her friends and family. May her lovely soul rest in peace. Om Shanti.
Thanks, Joan. Very nicely stated.
Peace and light to her and her family.
Josie was such a beautiful spirit...she just PM'd be the other day...and she was so full of life and love and hope. I know she definitely planned to go into another joyous life...I hope I get to meet her again.

xox Josie, my late night dancing friend...
It....it is a good death.

An excellent death...

but how hard it is for everyone left behind.
I have heard of her, and I'm so terribly, terribly sorry for her passing.

I hope wherever you are you're so very happy, Dakini Dancer

You will always be remembered by us here on OS...

:(
As everyone has said - A death in the family.

Kind of you to do this, Joan.

Sadness.
Thank you for finding out the truth and letting us know Joan. I appreciate your speed.
She wrote me the nicest note about the sketched I just did of her and I thought she was one of the nicest people I "met" on OS. I am stunned and so sad.
@DikiniDancer

Thank you for the time you gave us, your warmth, your beauty, and your friendship. Good luck to you, wherever your spirit leads you next.
Ms. Walsh...is there any way you can put this on the Cover so that more people will know of her passing??

It's obvious she's touched so many people here on OS and maybe many don't know yet.

Maybe we could do a memorial for her...
This is just so tragic for Josie's family, and for ours here on OS. She was flowering in so many new ways. Allowing herself to be more free and open. Open. Oh.

We were forming a lovely personal friendship, Josie suggested a homeopathic "stress buster" that Karen knew but had forgotten... now all of us in the family are using it with doctor's approval. It works, if anybody needs it, PM me.

Just yesterday Josie sent me yet another kind PM offering moral, and even physical, support. I wish I could have given her the same. Joan, I hope you can communicate to her family how special she was to so many who'd never even met her, such was her gift, her power. As she always closed her PMs, Blessings, Josie.
Thank you for passing this sad news along...in the true spirit of this community that you’ve helped bring into existence.
She was truly a kind spirit who touched many people. Sad information that was nicely said.
What I remember most, and will never forget, is that she and I clashed over something trivial very early in my time on OS and I wrote her a PM about just starting over. She agreed, and we became friends and have gotten closer and closer as the months passed.

She and I come at spirituality from very different perspectives but we always sought common ground and supported each other in the right to express our faith. And in so doing we became closer and closer, willing together to see the best that both of us and all others have to give.

She was cute, funny, wicked, smart and kind, open, generous and had a very good soul. I already miss her, very much.

My prayers for her family, her friends and for all of us here at OS who have lost a good friend and wonderful member of this community.

Monte
Joan, Thank you for the news....this is sad beyond belief.

It hits hard..so hard....she always came 'round.......it'snot fair for all of us to miss this generous, kind soul.....
I had so hoped to meet her.

In response to something I had said or posted she responded with a favorite meditation of hers.

Om Tare Tutare Ture Soha

I too was fond of it and shared with her this wonderful video I had found on you tube. She loved it as did I.

Today I have watched it and feel an odd sense of peace.

I won't go into the meaning of the words Om Tare Tutare Ture Soha
here, in a way it might be best to listen to this chant without thinking of the meaning of the words, to instead let it flow through you. The Unbearable Lightness of Being is this not?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtSpJUVWN4Y
Thanks to everyone for their love and warmth, I'm sure Thomas will put this on the cover in the a.m. -- I don't know how to do that! But all the comments are keeping it in the feed, so it's being seen.
Oh man...this feels like a punch in the gut. It's amazing how you can feel someone's energy through their words. Now I know this is like a family...that's the only way this could hurt that much. I will miss her.
I was also in contact with Judy and plan to do a memorial post tomorrow morning that the family can use at the service, That Judy was so clear of mind and able to transmit this news and follow up with an e-mail speaks volumes about the kind of energy that lives on. I shall post in the morning,
Very sad indeed. My thoughts go out to all.
We spoke here in comments to each other yesterday. She was full of life, and it was enriching to know her even in the small time we had. Better to have loved a short while than never at all.

My sympathies to her family. She will be missed, a lot.
I know that she is happy wherever she is, and that gives me solace where I am. *raises glass and drinks deeply of life*
Oh, crap. This just makes me so sad.
I'm shocked and so sad. How can that be?
I meant, "how can she be gone?"
This is such sad news to come home to. She was a tremendously sweet, well-loved and talented member. So tragic and stunning...
May she rest in peace. She has many friends here, and may her friends and family elsewhere be comforted by many fond memories.

She leads the way, but the rest of us will follow.

Thanks for the notice.
What terrible news. She left such wonderful comments for me and I'm shocked to hear this news. RIP.
Oh lord, how very, very sad. And how very shocking. All my sympathy goes to her family.
I'm so sad about this. She will be missed here. My thoughts go out to her family at this time.
She was always so wonderfully supportive and positive in any comments I received from her. I always thought of her laughing and smiling...I will keep that image in my mind now. This is very sad.
Mishima, I wanted to thank you for your comment; you're right. She is merly the first. Blazing the trail, so to speak. We'll follow in her steps, choreographed as beautifully as she could possibly do for us. But we'll all follow her. One way or another.

May peace flow from that choreography.
I will miss her sorely too, she brought a lively, inimitable voice to this space. A Dakini, indeed. I like to imagine her reading OS in the other planes, looking over our shoulders and laughing. Thanks especially to her niece, and to you, Joan, for letting us know. If there was any doubt that this was a community...Peace to Josie and her family.
Thank you, Joan.

And thank you Josie. Thank you and goodbye, from all of us, good bye, go out on a raft of remembrance and love.
i'm stunned. i was just getting to know her.
O.

I loved Dakini. Josie will be immensely missed. This is such sad news after coming back after an absence. I shall light a candle.
I shall ring the bell, read the book and light the candle. May you reach the stars and beyond.

Blessed be.
I met her during the OS Birthday party. I am glad that I got to know her at least a little. I am so sad at her passing. To all of Josie's family, am keeping you in my heart.
What Mr. Mustard said.
:-(
Thank you Joan for the update on what happened. This is so sad and what a terrible loss. She is now dancing with the angels smiling down on all of us. I only knew her a little bit but I knew of her spunky comments that always got me to smile. I great and gentle soul. She will be truly missed by many.
I'm crying. What a gal she was! To Dakini-niece - I suggest you keep all of the e-mails and comments from here and other places. When you all can stand to read them, they will make a wonderful remembrance of your Aunt. I learned this lesson when my brother died. The expressions of consolation and sympathy were a blessing to the whole family.
I am stunned and so deeply saddened by this quirk of fate.

I only met Josie last month in Sf at our OS anniversary party and sat with her most of the nite, sharing greasy food and gossip, laughs and girlie stories of life, past and present. She was a brand new friend and one that will leave a high energy mark in my mind and heart. I miss her more because I didn't get to experience our friendship fully, as we had hoped.

Dear niece, Kelly. Please know, at least from my impression recently, that your Autie Josie was a woman for all seasons. She possessed a spunk seldom whitnessed, a verve for life in every second she occupied her life force here, touched by everyone she came into contact with whom she shared her unique creativity.

Josie is bigger than life. Selfishly, I will miss her embodiment of life as much as her fiery spirit. I already miss not knowing the woman that connected with me so freely, so happily and so void of judgment in the path to friendship.

I am shocked indeed, because she was a beacon of life, both in mind and body. This is just plain crazy.

Josie gave me a gift. The gift was letting me see who she was, even if for only a brief time. She left a great big impression that will live with me always.

So much love to Josie's family, both her kin and her circle of friends.
She was a sweet and welcome voice to a relative newcomer here. I will miss her greatly.
So, so sad to hear of Josie's passing....yet, I am hoping for something:

This exact time, two years ago I was unaware that in one week's time my dear, beloved mother would die of a stroke.
Maybe Josie can have a meetup with my mom. I am sure they would be great friends. So kind, smart, funny...I could go on and on.
I would like to think of them finding other pals and dancing like dervishes, laughing and living on forever.

Josie was very kind and full of encouragement towards my still-fledgling writing. She is one of the reasons I am happy to be here on OS.
My heart is full of thankfulness and sadness.
While I passionately believe no good thing ever really dies, there is always that feeling of being left behind, the empty spot, the voice not heard. This is extremely difficult. Thank you Joan, for your sensitive and loving handling of the news and to Judy for making the time to let us know. Is a sadness imossible to dress up for now.
That's terrible news. She was a good blogger and thoughtful commenter. She will be missed. May she rest in peace.
Life is just too short...
Josie will be missed. So sorry. She seemed so full of life, and added much to our lives here.
This is sad. Memorial weekend will be thoughtful.
Jodi (Dakini Dancer) always shined a bright spirit.
She'll be missed. Comfort to those who knew Jodi.
My condolences to those closest, sigh. Ay a dancer.
The first morning singsong birds are making tunes.
So sad. Peace be with her and her family.
Time just moves too fast. I am so sorry to hear the news.
It's always sad when someone passes, especially a spirit with such light. However, it is a tribute to her that she managed to touch so many here and inspire such tributes.

She will be missed. My thoughts go out to her family for comfort and healing in this time.

ds
thanks, Joan, for keeping us informed, what a shock, Risa and I spent a terrific afternoon with Josie on her birthday just a couple of weeks ago, we were looking forward to seeing her again
sending peace and fond memories.
Goodbye, Dakini.........I hardly knew ye......
Oh... crap. I'm going to miss her.
I just saw the many posts this morning and am so saddened by the loss. My sympathies to Judy and the rest of the members of Josie's family.
Her spirit . . . .and what a spirit. . .resonates with all of us. In this very young family so very blessed by Dakini Dancers very old soul and laughing eyes.

This hurts.
Thanks, Joan for letting us know. This is so sad and tragic....she was a very spirited soul. I think God wanted her just a little bit closer at his side.
This is just devastating. She was the epitome of spirit on Open Salon. Always a kind and positive thing to say. What a lovely woman...
It seems impossible that the woman in that photo, so brave, sexy, so alive, could no longer be that. Please, everyone, get a physical, take care of yourselves, and don't take your own life of that of anyone you know for granted. It is such a short time we have here.
Joan--
Do you know from the family if Josie had a designated charity where we could make a memorial contribution? I'd like to mark her passing in some tangible way. If they would prefer we send flowers to the service, perhaps we could take up a collection, but if you find out there's a charity, could you please let us know? Thanks.
I'm saddened beyond words.
She will be missed.
I'm not sure where to post a comment to her family. But, blessings, blessings from our family to yours. We will pray for her safe passage.

denese
She was a great dame. There is a little less light in the OS stable today.
What terribly sad news. My heart goes out to Josie's family, and to everyone here who will surely miss her. She was such a marvelous spirit.
Fortunately we will have Josie as long as Open Salon lives. A part of her will always be with us, and even if we should leave OS we will always carry her generosity of spirit with us.

"Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she's in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand"
I am so sorry. My condolences to Dakini Dancer's friends on OS, as well as her family and loved ones. This is sad news.
Way too sad. And way too young. Thanks for all of your posts and comments, Dakini!
I'm very sorry to hear this.
she laughed at some of my jokes, complimented my cat, and threatened me when I made fun of Joe Montana. She was very cool. It also turns out she shared a name with my four month old daughter, who is currently filling her diaper while I write this. For some reason that makes me happy... the name sharing part not the diaper filling part.
Go in peace Lady.
I hope there is peace and serenity for her family and friends.
Too sad. Let's continue to do our best in honor of her. Let's outdo ourselves for her.
Dakini was a sumptuous feast of a woman. She was a beautiful gracious divine full of life special woman. Gentle, sensual, grateful, loving, affirming and most of all passionate. OS seems emptier this early morning.
Oh my gosh...how horrible. She'll be greatly missed!
I am sad and sorry. Strange the discussion lately about what we are and aren't. It seems we are a family.
This has just broken my heart. She was very much a member of this OS family, always interesting and interested, sweet and kind in her comments, intelligent and humorous and honest in her posts. I did not have the opportunity to meet her in person but I nonetheless knew her. These are relationships that form and grow in a virtual space, but they are nonetheless real and meaningful.

Dakini Dancer, Josie--I am going to miss you. I am so sorry you left us, but so glad that I got to know you at least for a little while.
Being new to this forum I never had the privledge of meeting your friend, but to all who had the pleasure of knowing her, I offer my deep felt sorrow to all of you.
Abstruse.
May she visit us in dreams and guide us to enlightenment.
So much warmth and comfort sent out... I imagine her journey will be one well-lit with tenderness and joy.

I too remember her speaking: "Namaste."

Namaste to Josie... Namaste to you each.

Huggggsssss
i am stunned. this is terribly sad. thank you for letting us know.
i was reading her last post last night, and i saw her niece's comment this morning. i hoped it was a hoax.

thanks for providing some more insight and this space. these comments are really a testament to her. i didn't know her very well, and i'm sad i won't get to know her better. i hope wherever she is, she can somehow see all these beautiful sentiments.
I was sorting through the comments to my posts this afternoon and I found a comment from Dakini Dancer, in response to me posting about a visit from my father (our sons' Pappa) from the "other side." This is what she said:

"I'm glad you got it sorted out. I fully believe that your Pappa was present. My long passed parents are with me a lot, I feel they are
watching over me. Many blessings to you and your family, on this
side, and on the other."

And so now we know she is not only with her sister but her parents.

denese
Thank you for sharing this Joan. Dakini was amazing and will be missed, a true free spirit!

Love and peace to her family.
Life is so short. I am, selfishly, so sad.

She's got to be dancing away, though, enlightening others along her path.

Peace.
So sorry to hear this. I always enjoyed her posts and her comments. I am sure she enriched the lives of family and friends as much as she enriched the lives of her friends online. She will be missed.
Thank you for your humanity.
Thank you Joan for this incredibly sad news.

I've posted a dedication to her, as I'm sure others will do as well. I hope that her family and friends are able to somehow observe the impact she made here and the loss that will be felt at her absence.
A truly nice person - in a world where there aren't enough of them.
I enjoyed her writing. Often surprising, bright. A big warm heart. Sincere condolences to her family.
The spirit of God in her spoke to the spirit of God in me when I read one of her posts.
Something by Deepak Chopra my shed some light: Life After Death the burden of proof.
That is so sad. On OS such passings are noted with warmth and sympathy, which is why I like it here so much.
Joan - Thank you for sharing this with us. Her positive energy was such a gift. I'm still fairly new here. One of things that has made OS very special to me is the strong sense of community here.

Pretend Farmer - I like your idea. Many of the tributes I've already seen here almost have the feeling of an Irish wake, in a looser form. It seems a most appropriate way to remember her.
"M. Chariot, your quivery convulsions are
driving me quite mad. I feel I must immerse my sensuous
form into a pool of cool water so that my desires remain
under control. Oh forget that. Kiss me you fool!"
- DakiniDancer
Peace and strength to her family at this sad time. She will be missed.
Ah, Monsieur Chariot, she always said the things I was too shy to say!
Goodness,

M. Chariot, your quotation is surely the icing on the cake that is our Dakini Dancer. Thank you very much for reminding us all of the breadth of her wit, as evidenced by this delicious little snippet.
Shut up, America. We've tortured forever, liberals can spare me their righteous indignation, and conservatives can stop speaking. I wanna box Dick Cheney. Obama, get me a better job, or shut up. I make 13 an hr here in Manhattan and after taxes I have enough for beer. And I'm a Marxist. Get us better jobs already. Liberals may hate LBJ for Tonkin, but Obama does not have LBJ's ability to do the heavy lifting on health care or Carter's with energy. Step up, dude, I voted for you. Torture?
Shut up!
Let us re-focus our attention on the banks and insurance companies and the federal reserve. The guy who lost his job in Ohio due to Nafta or some other free trade agreement, the people who might be more undeserved getting more from the government, that has nothing to do with torture. This is a media blitz led by all the usual suspects in media.

Bernie Sanders for President 2012

— Luke, New York
Thank you Joan. My heart hurts tonight for good reason.
I always seem late to the party. But this is no party. How terrible and sad. She was a good friend. Her kindness will be missed.
She was nice, and charitable with her comments.
Damn. Dakini seemed kind and clever and full of fun. I'll miss her, too.
I know I haven't been around much lately...had a nasty attack of life. Which, knowing that life can be all too short, makes it all the more valuable. Daikini and I didn't always agree, but I admired how much she loved living, and how she didn't hold back. It is sad to lose her. But we can all comfort ourselves with the knowledge that she could never be said to be one of those people who died without ever having lived. It's a genuine death, because she was genuinely alive. I'll miss her.
Lonnie has a song for Dakini he's been working on, give it a listen:

http://open.salon.com/blog/lonnie_lazar/2009/05/23/song_for_dakini
My deepest condolences to her family and friends. May your memories give you strength.
She attracted me with her posting of the dance with thousand arms...I just thought that was the most amazing dance ever. Then her choice if name :dakini.... we have a song in Bengali... "Dakini, jogini elo shoto nagini......" Wasnt it from a Ray film? (allluding to the demon friends of Kali.... Everytime I read her name I thought of that, and smiled.

I hope the family handles her passing on well and my deepest condolences to her survivors and friends and family............
How very sad... I liked her so much and am so sorry.
This is heartbreaking. Thanks for letting us all know. I'm behind on my OS news so glad you also put on the Alert. Peace to you this day, Robin
Thanks, Joan. I didn't know her well, but I will miss her comments. Each person on OS has their own unique style, and after a while you get to know them, and appreciate them.

I love water areobics and swimming. Passing suddenly, while living life, sounds like a good way to go.
WOW. I went to her blog. It's still up, I'm glad--a hilarious mirror shot of her and her gorgeous breasts. I never actually went to her blog but I see her as a wonderful, humorous human with tremendous heart. She was 61--a year older than I am now. This hits me hard. It really hits home what I know very well--life is short. We need to make the most of every moment and be with our loved ones as much as possible. In the end, all we have is the love we share with others. It seems that this woman shared a lot of love right here--I can feel it even without knowing her on a personal level. Thank you for posting this.
Describing her is like describing light. You realize how much you miss it when it's gone, yet it's a presence which fills you. I will miss her terribly.
May God bless her and watch over her and her family.
A true loss for the OS Family.
Just a heads up for people: Her niece left an update in Dakini's blog. CLICK HERE.
There were many beautiful memorials to Dakini Dancer, and I find it difficult to comment on things like this. I think we are all surprised to find that we can care and become involved with each other from what would seem to be such a remote experience as posting, but there you are. Humanity crosses all grids. I don't believe in God, but I believe in a spiritual realm. Best wishes to Dakini~
This very sad when you lose someone on OS. She was too young to pass on.
Yow. That's a total shock. I enjoyed her company here.
Stunning. Oh. No words for the sudden sadness.

Joan: Thanks so much for finding out for us.

Josie: Blessed be
I never knew Josie really, but she truly was a person who cared about so much. She was truly a gift to all who knew her. The universe did get smaller tonight. I am sorry to here that she is gone. But she is probably wherever she is looking down on all of us and smiling. SPirit, encouragement and enthusiam is always the great things that you hope you can share with each and every person that you meet and in her case she did. If her family decided to post information about a charity to donate to in her memory, I'd really appreciate the info. The angels have truly met their match up in heave with Josie. Peace for now Josie, MAX
I am incredibly stunned and saddened by this. Josie was always full of spirit, enthusiasm, and encouragement. Even though I can't say I knew her in body, I will miss her soul. Should we have a wake of sorts? A live blog Irish style with a few kind words and shared sentiment? For now, I will bow my head and wish her good passing. I'll miss you Josie. Damn.Pakistan Government Jobs