John Moat did a great many things in his lifetime; he was a gifted artist, poet and author. If you want to know about his lifetime achievements you can read one of his many other obituaries online. I want to write about the kind of person he was and the books that he wrote. I have had the privilege of reviewing several of John's books and the one thing that they all had in common was the ability to transport the reader, to capture a transcendent mood and get behind the veil of mundane realities. He went beyond the fabrications of day-to-day living to incorporate the numinous, the invisible and the other. The life of the spirit is manifest in his writing. If we are lucky, we may at some point in our lives become aware that this is not all there is, that forces abound, and our frail humanity is illuminated by the touch of the unseen. John lived this awareness; he incorporated it into his writing and had the God given ability to transmit this understanding in some of the most elegant, lyrical and spellbinding prose that I have ever read.

In case this makes him sound like some kind of fey and winsome character, I have to say that he most definitely was not. He was astonishingly and energetically of this world, he was a very funny man who wrote the ever-entertaining Didymus column for Resurgence for over 35 years - that's more than 100 columns. I will never forget the Vaguely Green Didymus that had me in tears of laughter in the office, I advise anyone over the age of fifty to read it. It's actually quite hard to process data (yes we do that here, its not all organic gardening and straw bale housing) when you are doubled up with mirth. John was a heartening sort of man, he was cheery and encouraging, he was multi-talented and his spirit was mighty. He truly was a one off and we will miss him greatly.

John Moat, born 11 September 1936, died 16 September 2014. His books included, Blanche, Mai's Wedding and The Fabrication of Gold.

John Moat:

John Moat, Didymus, Resurgence & Ecologist, September/October 2014 /magazine/article4232-green-with-age.html

John Moat, Obituary The Telegraph, 23 September 2014

Lynn Batten is the office manager at Resurgence & Ecologist and author of The 07.45 - Tales From The Back of a Bus, published by The Write Factor.