I don’t know what’s going on these days. But somewhere around Barstow a colleague called to inform me one of my dearest friends had died. 

Died?

But, I just texted her last week. I mean, not saw her, or shared a meal with her… But texted. Because I was busy, I was going on vacation—and we’d “catch up” when I got back.

Only she died. 

Somewhere between my busy schedule and our text exchange on my birthday, she left the planet. And now I’m driving to California and the signal keeps cutting out, so I can barley piece together that the funereal is Saturday—and I’ll miss it.

She was helping me build a fence. And for anyone who knows me—I don’t build fences. I don’t do any of the things required of my new property, and she was the friend who stood by me and told me I could do this.

And now she’s—you know. Dead. 

My lover and I pulled out paddle boards into the Pacific each morning. I didn’t talk a lot of them. The board was my own ocean craft, and I could just stare out to sea as wide as my eyes could stretch and talk to her. There, in the middle of the Pacific I could speak with her. Pray for her safe journey to the other side… They say you need prayers in the Bardo—support as you crossover, and I gave her that each morning. 

Sometimes tears would come out of the blue, other times none. There isn’t a day that goes by now I’m not dealing with it. Does anyone talk about this and grief? 

She made incredible pies. 

The last one I tasted was a strawberry basil key lime. She was a dancer. Came to most of my gigs and never stopped moving. She was from Arkansas, a down home girl—well bred, yet treated everyone equal. She was a priestess, or maybe an angel—I don’t know. But she knew ritual. She was a neighbor, the kind that would go to bat for you at 3am without question. 

A Santa Fean—who adored her town and never missed a vote or community meeting.

I don’t know what’s going on these days. I have always prided myself on priorities, but lately doesn’t life keep calling us out? They say all history is dark, and every generation struggles, but these particular days… 

There’s a patch of fence unfinished. It was over 90 degrees back in July, and Gaby and I laughed delirious that we should stop, finish another day—just some small fixes right at the end of the fence that no one would notice. 

Only I do.

And hold it as a reminder how fleeting time is. How July turns into October and October into an another New Year… Live your life, family. Live it like you’ll die tomorrow—cuz you know what?

All My Heart,