Wednesday, September 26, 2007

On living, dying and birthdays

Yesterday I found out about the deaths of two friends; a completely unrelated coincidence. I wasn't very close to either, yet both people influenced my life in one way or another. The first, a friend from high school, died several months ago of alcoholism. In school, she introduced me to Monty Python, Queen, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. We went to see Queen at the San Diego Sports Arena together back in 1977. Lori always made me laugh and I loved knowing her then. Her leaving reverberates in a very sad way through my system. I am sorry that I didn't even know that she was living right here in San Francisco all these years, probably mere blocks from where I am now.

The second, a sweetest soul, Diane Bodach died last week surrounded by family and friends. She was a poet, and I knew her because of that. She would come to my house years ago, to record poetry for the radio show I worked on. We would sit in the garden and talk about existentially spiritual matters, and her eyes were always beaming love. But her body was weak, ravaged by cancer and other immune deficiencies, she shook and could not stand or even sit upright for long. This only seemed to sweeten and lighten her, and I'm sure that when she went, it was a direct ascension to the angels.

The memorial is in a month, and it looks to be fantastic. It got me thinking, why is it that the best party of someone's life; the one where that person is finally fully acknowledged for all they do, all they contribute, who they really are, does not happen until they are gone and can't participate? Why are there not living memorials?

I shed a goodbye tear for both my friends.

I was born on this day 47 years ago. Today is a warm autumn day in the city and I will walk about in it, grateful for each step I am taking and each breath I inhale.
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