Remarks at the service by Rev. Paul F. M. Zahl

What is the meaning of an individual human life? What counts, or lasts, or is enduring about it?

Out of the complete originality of Lloyd Fonvielle, what “stands”?

His aspiration to love and be loved.  This is probably the bottom line of any person’s life..

Lloyd’s aspirations concerning love – his ruminations on the nature, or possibility, of love – animated  his work, and all in a unique, ever-changing but also continuous-with-itself package.

Lloyd’s writings on photography, especially concerning William Eggleston; his writings on ballet and George Balanchine – and remembering especially Lloyd’s remarkable friendship with Lincoln Kirstein; Lloyd’s script for The Bride; elements in Lords of DisciplineGotham (!); Circus, for sure; many of Lloyd’s Western short stories, his “noirs”, right through to the last one, Black Pearl..

Many if not most of these are ruminations on love and its sometime impossibility, and its devoutly to-be-hoped-for possibility.

Lloyd was extremely interested in the mercurial and at times hopefully enduring relations between men and women.

Lloyd also loved his family very much, and they were always a very large part of his life.  Mary and I often wished that Lloyd had been able to have children. As it was, Lloyd had a special heart for his nephews and nieces, each one of them!

I think everyone here would agree that Lloyd was lost to us too soon.

Here is the second of two points in this short memorial sermon:

Where is Lloyd now?

That’s a big one.  To me, it is the biggest one.

Whatever you think about the answer – I mean, whatever you think the answer to that question might be – every person has to engage the question somehow, simply because we all die.  As Lloyd has died.

Lloyd has pre-deceased every one of us who is here.  (I was always sure that Bob Dylan would pre-decease Lloyd, by the way, but it didn’t turn out that way.)  Lloyd now knows something, or has found out something, that none of us here today can answer with certainty. Lloyd now knows, or has found out, something that Bob Dylan doesn’t know.

Here is my simple answer to the question of where Lloyd is:

Lloyd is with the God of Love and Mercy.

Lloyd remained a Christian throughout his life, right up to the very end of it. He and I talked on the phone about faith and God and the person he called ‘Rabbi Jeshua bar Joseph’ only three days before he died.  Why did Lloyd remain religious? (He detested most human representations of Christianity.)  For one basic reason: Bob Dylan!  Just kidding.

No, but really:

Lloyd was drawn to Christianity because of the human life and actings-out-of-compassion that Lloyd saw in that person with the long Hebrew name.  That’s just a fact, about Lloyd.

So where is Lloyd today?

He is with that kind of God, within that kind of Reality.

5 thoughts on “Remarks at the service by Rev. Paul F. M. Zahl

  1. Dearest Paul, and Dearest Lloyd,
    Amen, and Amen, and Amen.
    Love you both, forever and ever.

  2. Pingback: Lloyd’s Memorial | Uncouth Reflections

  3. If only my fragile health had allowed me to be there. I was honored to reconnect with Lloyd and Paul in recent years, but I also got to meet some of his relatives (in their adult manifestations) and talk to his Mom on the phone. More than that, I missed meeting so many of the people that made up the rest of his life. If any of you are ever passing through New Orleans, stop by for a perfect Old Fashioned and a platter party. We’ll bring him down from the other side for a visit. (

    P.S.: Paul and I are restoring our childhood movies with Lloyd (the good, the bad, and the ugly). We hope to have the first one finished by the end of the year.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear of his passing. In that strange way that you can feel to “know” someone online he was a mentor figure to me in my writing. I only wish he was still around to share stories and links to interesting things with. I’m very glad this site is staying up. Rest in peace Lloyd, you were a true original.

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