Word came to me yesterday about the death of someone I was friends with long ago. He and I were never lovers – it wasn’t that kind of relationship. But we strolled arm-in-arm through art museums and had long, deep, earnest conversations about poetry and art, Zen Buddhism and biology, a combination that probably seems like a crazy quilt. Those things were all elements of the beauty and interconnectedness in the world, and made perfect sense to us as students of the sciences, and lovers of the artistry conceived by people and nature.
We lost touch years ago, but I’d sometimes wondered what became of him. He was a gentle soul, soft-spoken and intensely thoughtful, but appreciative of a joke or funny story – he often punctuated his meditative comments with a wink and a wry smile.
I walked through a beautiful Indian Summer morning today, gazing up at the blue, blue sky, and at red-orange-gold-green leaves arrayed like splashes of paint on the trees, and imagined him walking the same path. At one point, a shower of tiny leaflets sprinkled slowly down over me, the golden orbs spinning balletically, and I could picture him pinwheeling around through them, grinning beatifically.
Sleep well, old friend.