For Tom and Michael 5/6/08

I have lost two male friends to massive heart attacks in the last month. These men were the kind of close that meant regardless of how long it had been since we had seen one another there was always an implicit nearness, born of occupying the same cosmic space. We didn’t exchange daily e-mails, nor did we have to. There was an easy comfort that they were merrily leading their remarkable lives without needing to consult me. These were the type of friendships that time could not alter.

Each man was famous for being who he really was. One was a leading architectural voice in the sustainable co-housing movement. The other was a master luthier of other-worldly talent. One built, and taught others to build, housing complexes that were communities where neighbors developed familial relationships and lead lives full of meaning. The other built instruments played in major concert halls the world over. His innovations set a new paradigm of artistic capability. The music played on his guitars had meaning.

I have taken two important things from their passing. For perhaps the first time in my life my own mortality is painfully apparent and real to me. There is a hard liberty in this. Also, they each call to me to swiftly burn through any and all impediments to my own becoming, real or imaginary. My mother’s passing showed me the path and these two trailblazers have cleared the way for me to assume my true destiny, a road previously thickly grown over with the gnarled and impassable vines of my own self doubts. God brings himself to us in numerous forms and ways, if only to reveal that we, too, are in him.

I treasure these friends, in life and death. I will honor them by emulating their strong connections to the reality of existence with the truest memorial I can imagine by building a meaningful life of my own and for being famous for who I really am.

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