Lee Lozowick
Founder, Partner, Vigraha, LLC

In Memoriam

A year ago today, February 2, 2010, Lee and I sat on the oriental carpet of Bodhisattva’s showroom at the Tucson Gem show, as we had in many a recent year past, selecting singing bowls.  His bevy of various wives and daughters sipped tea, and my sales rep and I scurried around the room seeking out the most intricately decorated, rarest and highest quality, small antique pieces we could find.

My partner Rain and I always thought of Lee when we were packing for the show.  Every year, the question would come up: What are we bringing for Lee?  Undoubtedly, I would pack my highest quality stuff to howls of protest from Rain, who contended that we needed to sell all that retail!  Eventually I’d pretend to acquiesce, knowing full well that these little treasures would find their way into Lee’s hands and from there, they would move on to disparate communities of art lovers for whom Vigraha was both a source and an inspiration. Some of our best pieces would whisper Lee’s name: “take me!”.

There were so many times, particularly in the past few years, when the Gem show wasn’t going so well for us.  But Lee would appear at our door, usually preceded by a scout or two, and when I’d see him my heart would literally jump with excitement.  Sure he was generous – he was an angel – and he went a long way to help make the show profitable for us.  But apart from that, he was cool and I loved spending time with him.

I would start a long list, snaking a line of bowls around him, softly striking them, usually to his nods of appreciation.  The list would grow, sometimes, into the largest order we would take that year in Tucson.  Lee would roll his eyes when I would present him with the bill, saying, “I don’t know why I buy these from you. I can get them for a lot cheaper!”  Yet, just the same, he’d snap open his wooden briefcase to write a check, and I would smile.  I knew why and so did he.  It was because these bowls were beautiful, and Lee was nothing if not an appreciator of beauty.

Lee and Shakti

Lee and Shakti in the Bodhisattva Trading Company room at the Tucson Gem Show, February 2010.

On this day last year, I was aware that it would be our last.  All our rituals were observed; business was conducted in the same amiable way it always was; but something about that day was different.  Even as Lee had grown physically more frail, his presence was stronger, more vibrant.  As his family gathered, the room was full of a palpable sweetness.  It was charged with love.  We were all enjoying being together, fully present, in the moment.  He was graceful and courageous; patiently repeating words that I missed.  The little bowls sang, cell phones chirped, conversation rippled, and the demure Bodhisattvas and Goddesses gazed down from the thangkas on the walls upon us, blessing us with their peace.  That day I had the gift of just being in beauty – in the beauty of the singing bowls, in the beauty of each other; in the beauty of life and appreciating every moment as if it were the last.  It was a teaching I will always treasure.

This year, I write about my memories of Lee from LA.  For the first time in 15 years, Bodhisattva is not at the Gem Show. Our room, long infused with rich energy of the bowls as often as with the fire of Tapas, stress and hard work; we let go of.  It was a whole era that we let go of, as we let the Universe move in the way it does.  Our condolences to Lee’s family, to Purna, and to Lee’s community.  We will always remember Lee with love and gratitude.

Thank you, Lee. God Speed and Namaste.