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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 12: Singing In Sacramento

Woke to bad news this morning. My best friend Heather called me from the hospital to say that her brother had been accidentally shot, and died. George was a good guy. I used to play soccer with him at church camp. My youth group circle of friends has been rather scattered and distant in recent years, but today we came together for Heather. Luckily it was a down day in a populated somewhere, and I was available for constant contact. Still, I'm not sure it's really hit me yet that he's gone.

As I've mentioned on here before, last October an incredible lady, Ines, who had been my best friend in high school died accidentally. Her death was the great shock I needed to reevaluate the direction, actions, and values of my life. I was not happy, and have spent the time since her funeral doing something about it. She's always and forever inspired my life for the better.

Death is a natural part of life. Seasons pass. Waters ebb and flow. Mountains rise and fall. All good things must run their course. There is no use in fearing the inevitable. I try to live each day so that if I died tomorrow, I'd have no regrets. I'm not rushing towards it, but when my time comes in it's own time I hope to be satisfied with the knowledge that I lived full, well, and made a positive mark, however so small.

When someone in your life dies, I think you make a space in your heart to forever hold them in memoriam, but then you ought to return to life and live it with the richness that person gave you. What better way to honor them? From death we can learn to live a little better, love a little more, and appreciate the whole vibrant, resonate mess of it all every minute of every day with the very marrow of your bones and fiber of your being.

To reference Sherwood quoting Saint Augustine, "You should sing as wayfarers do - sing, but continue your journey. Do not be lazy, but sing to make your journey more enjoyable. Sing, but keep going." I've been ruminating on this concept for several days now. It speaks to me in the sense that Sherwood and Saint Augustine meant it, but also in the sense that Walt Whitman is forever writing of singing. "I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear," as he wrote in Leaves Of Grass. Right in this moment and every moment across our fair and diverse land people are living, loving, learning, moving, believing, getting by, and growing up. Each of our bodies resonating at a unique frequency, forming our own strain that is harmonizing to a universal song. We begin and end, as we should, but the song goes on, and the notes we sang are forever a part of it. No matter how hard the journey gets, I must keep moving and singing.

As I spoke with Heather on the phone, I did my best to communicate my love for her, and my faith for her inner strength, and my sorrow for George. It's hard to put what a solid hug means into thin words said from 3,000 miles away. It's hard to be away from home, and I'm left feeling as though I could be a better friend. Dear Heather, even when we are not in touch you are always in my heart.

I spent the day tagging along with Zach. We ate a big breakfast, took a bike ride, and went to check out our friend Johnathan's new recording studio and practice space. He wants to be at the center of a local music movement here in Sacramento, which I think is fantastic. In the evening I watched when Zach went to his weekly game with the Sacramento Ultimate Frisbee League. I had fun, but these activities pale in importance to the time spent on the phone with friends, and the many hours spent thinking and remembering George.
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