Tuesday, May 29, 2012

the little box on my couch

my friend turquoise died this morning.  I wasn't there--she was living in california.  I don't have any good stories about her.  I only met her once and it was for a few hours over beers when she was visiting the rim.  her death wasn't unexpected--she'd been suffering from cancer almost since I met her and in what chaplains (and health pros) call the active dying process for at least a year.  by most of the criteria by which we run our lives, I shouldn't have known her or much of her or been able to follow her progress as she was dying.

but this is a new age and wonderful toys exist that allow us to be a part of one another's lives even as we live and die thousands of miles from each other.  I was friends with her on facebook and kept up with her by reading her blog.  my wife was better friends with her:  last winter, in the midst of dealing with her own dad's active dying process, her chaplaincy internship, and working fulltime, she crocheted turquoise a prayer shawl and then took it when she visited her (her rationale for flying to california in the midst of so much busyness and our dwindling bank account:  "I would rather see her alive than view her body," a principle with which I agree). 

I know what was important to her--her friends, her cat, her art and her life--only because I knew her through a little box perched on the lip of my couch from which I can communicate with so many.  I only knew of her death this morning because of a post from a mutual friend relaying the information on a website that, in my youth, would have been unthinkable (or we thought of it in terms of horror or dystopia) but in her youth--she was in her late 40s--had developed into something that the youth we know grow up mastering the intricacies do so so quickly that new developments come in months rather than decades.  this connective tissue is composed of electricity and pulses in addition to blood and muscle and it is because of it that I can reach out and be reached out to.  it is because of it that I could know and appreciate turquoise.

I mourn my friend turquoise.  I celebrate her life.  that I can do both and let you know of it is a product of the times in which we live.  I don't know if turquoise knew this song but I think she would have appreciated the message (and the beat).

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