Caron McCloud flew peacefully and powerfully into her future at her home in Port Townsend, Washington.
Caron was born in Oakland, California to Eden McCloud and Eugene Grant. Caron was married to her beloved husband of 26 years, Jim Wilson. She is survived by three children: her son Brent and wife Brenda Johnson with their three daughters and six grandsons; her daughter Shannon Johnson; her daughter Shiloh Sophia and husband, Jonathan McCloud; her sister Janet Seaforth, and niece Bridget McBride and her husband, Andrew as well as their two children; her niece Aleta, and nephews Lael and Brian Grant and their children. Caron will be especially missed by her long-time friends in Washington, Nanci Gilbert, Donna Fitzpatrick and Katie Morse. Caron is celebrated by hundreds of community members who studied with her and her daughter Shiloh in Intentional Creativity.
Caron lived her early life in Oakland and Orland, followed by a long cycle in West Marin and then Sonoma, California. She lived and worked much of her life in San Francisco, followed by Mendocino and eventually in Port Townsend.
Caron was multi-talented. Her gifts include seamstress, painter, carpenter, tapestry-maker, teacher, writer, illustrator and designer. She was an avid and well-read scholar and teacher of philosophy, religion, poetry and truly celebrated the intellect. Caron was a rare genius, weaving disparate fields of study and finding connections between history, science, quantum physics, language, theology, symbology, sacred math, culture, and the shaping of identity. Whether she was quoting Jesus, Albert Einstein, Rainer Maria Rilke or Willie Nelson, Caron was able to illuminate hidden teachings that ordinary ears could not hear. Caron was a designer of ideas, as well as a maker of art.
As a young adult she began making dresses with her mother Eden, a seamstress and pattern-maker. They made a lot of their own clothing, blankets, curtains, clothing for their children and decorated their homes with colorful fabrics. The mother and daughter opened two dress shops, as well as an art gallery. Caron loved entrepreneurship and thrived as a designer and a manufacturer of her clothing line which was featured in high-end department stores, appeared on fashion catwalks and was sold in hundreds of stores with tens of thousands. The two women helped Shiloh open her first art gallery in Port Townsend in 1997 called Color of Woman Gallery.
Caron’s passion for perspective and language flowed into her writings. First and foremost Caron cherished being a poet and wanted to be remembered as a poet. She published many major award-winning books of poetry, book of non-fiction and had many more works in progress until the day she left her physical form. In her last days she continued to design and work with concepts that she wanted to bring to life with her concept “Mattering Matters” which is now a line of T-shirts, bags, and posters.
Caron met and married Jim Wilson when they were in their late 50s in Anderson Valley. The two fell madly in love and were ready for a fresh start and so off they went to find their next home. The couple chose Port Townsend where the two first lived on Water Street pursuing their art and their spiritual path. Caron’s mother Eden came along with them and enjoyed life as an artist as well, having her thread tapestry work featured in local galleries and being a part of art walks.
Caron was very active in her poetry in Washington, she was a member of the Washington Poet’s Association where she was a semifinalist in the “Bart Baxter Performance Poetry” competition three out of three times entered, and won a “Carlin Aden Award’’ for her Alexandrian sonnet, “Last Trump Tango.” She was a first-place winner of the “Charlie Proctor Award” for her poem Holmes Ranch Hags, which she also read as the introduction for the Alice Walker and Sue Hoya Sellars event “Neighbors and Artists” in Berkeley, California, produced by her daughter Shiloh. She has been a guest on many radio shows and was a reader for the poetry collection by J. Glenn Evans CD, “Windows in the Sky.” She was a participant in the “PoetSpeak Reading Series’’ at Frye Art Museum in Seattle, with poems published in “Poets West Literary Journal.” Her poem “Common Ancestry” was one of 14 of the 400 contest entries selected to be included in the poetry contest chapbook, “Saltwater.” She recited her poetry at Cosmic Cowgirls and Musea, and taught poetry to women all over the world. Besides being published in various other venues she has over a dozen chapbooks to her credit, most of which she made by hand with a stitched binding. Caron was also a contributing author and designer in the book “Heart of the Visionary” for women in business published by Cosmic Cowgirls Ink, LLC, of which she and her mother Eden, were co-owners with more than 100 other women.
Caron wrote and self-published a book called “Rachels’ Bag - In Search of the Qabalah of our Mothers” bringing justice and voice to the often misunderstood women of the Old Testament. She taught her version of Messianic Christianity to many and she spent the last 20 years teaching and refining her work with the Tree of Life. She was also an incredible support and encouragement to others with their writings. One time when Shannon asked her mother to explain some of what informed her life choices, Caron responded with these words, now famous in our family for summarizing her views.
“We have arrived at our truths/ by forgetting the parts we didn’t like/ making up the parts that were missing/ and holding on for dear life/ to the little we came upon/ that we could trust.”
Jim describes their home as a “museum” because it is highly curated with art from every family member, including their own work. Caron and Jim were avid Sabbath keepers and the pair were very devoted to fellowship, attending the Seventh Day Adventist Church for many years, followed by Messianic Christian ministries that keep the Feast Days and the Sabbath. Caron and Jim shared a profoundly loving connection and relationship with their Lord and the Great Mystery, They refer to Jesus as Yeshua haMashiach.
Even though far away from her family in California, Caron got to spend time with her brother Bob’s family in Washington in the last 20 years of her life. Caron and Jim made regular trips to California to see her children and grandchildren and to pursue her career in teaching in person and online which started after the age of 70.
Caron is considered an “Art Ancestor” and her foundational teaching on story and identity are still taught in the course “Legend” – which has been attended by thousands of women throughout the world. Caron taught that you have to “decide you matter” to yourself first before you can matter to others. Her teachings would reach more than 100,000 women throughout the world over the years, and she brought a new level of awareness to the shaping of each person’s content, and the curation of identity and consciousness.
Caron was also a phenomenal fiber artist, creating intricate hand-stitched quilts and tapestries that many in the field of quilting consider unparalleled. She started making tapestries using the leftover fabric from her fashion design days. She completed over six major tapestries, some masterworks up to 12-by-6 feet wide. Musea, a museum and school founded by her family, hopes to feature Caron’s fiber work in the future. You can learn more www.musea.org and they will have an online memorial in September.
Caron McCloud is brilliant and beautiful. All who know her agreed that she is one of the most extraordinary people they had ever met. Her ability to treat others as if they truly mattered was one of her unique gifts — she could find the best in everyone and bring it forward in them. Many people said that no one had ever felt seen like that before. She was naturally joyful and witty in groups, often becoming the life of the party.
Caron was also one of the wildest truest souls most of us had ever met, as well as being a romantic. Caron loved to love and be loved. She blessed our lives with immeasurable love, wisdom, and creativity.
Caron will be greatly missed by many for all of our lives. She was laid to rest in a green burial at Herland Forest in Washington in a circle of ancient oak trees with a ceremony attended by her family. Her family also sprinkled the ashes of her mother, Eden McCloud at the same time. May she rest in peace in the arms of our Lord, for He was her shepherd.
Fly free Caron McCloud, your life is cherished. Your name is spoken. Your words are read. Your life mattered to us.