Attended a memorial ceremony for an old friend today. I knew half of him, or I guess I could say 1/3 of him, since we knew him for only 1/3 of his lifespan. We met him as an architect, and later knew him as a musician and owner of a recording studio, and great collaborator. Truth was, he was always a musician. I don’t think I ever was greeted with anything but a smile from his face. Even when things were tough, even when news was unexpected or particularly bad. He had a way of showing up or just being where I was from time to time. Like a cool drink of water, he was a pleasant distraction from things all in their places with bright shiny faces. Don’t know how better to put it than that.
Every once in awhile someone who thinks so outside the box comes along and it just redefines everything. We came from two different worlds, yet he understood both of them. He knew about my world, but chose to live in his. He never forced his friendship on anyone. Asked lots of questions. Always believed in miracles. You could easily dismiss him as irrelevant and he wouldn’t mind, really. Life was for living, not measuring or evaluating.
He leaves a hole in the fabric of the universe.
In the early years, he lived in a big house in a woods. That place is now Dogbone Park in Novato. The house is gone, but we stood in the place where it still is–in the memory of everyone who lived, played, wrote and performed music there. Grey-haired members of his old band and their manager came to pay their respects. Ex-wives, girlfriends and girlfriends he wished he had all came. Children and grandchildren. We told stories and watched the Native American blessing of welcoming him back to walk among us and look over our shoulders. And we all told him we loved him, each in our own special way, which is how he would have wanted it.
I think he came back and joined in the celebration.
The words on his memorial handout are so fitting:
I’m sailin’ away to a promised land…
Aint’ nobody gonna know where I am…
I’m cut loose, I’m free
There’s no one here but me.
There are a lot of good people up there who will make some awesome music. I’m sure he’ll just show up, not say too much at first, pick up his guitar, and fit right in.
Rest well, Tor.