Last night we celebrated Travis - our beautiful and complicated friend who was deeply intelligent with the wit of a sharp knife. Devoted comrade Tanya hosted the wake for all who wanted to come together and ruminate on his short life. In that way that is pure Tanya, she had prepared a cookie sheet with strips of paper with letters of the alphabet taped to it. Each person was invited to take a letter and as we sat around a roaring campfire, use that letter as a springboard to comment with a word, sentence or story about Travis: funny stories, sad stories, comments about the dismay we all felt at losing our friend. We wove our strips of paper with letters on them into a Viking-Funeral-Esque pyre made of sticks, burlap and flowers that a few brave friends set ablaze in a small pond while shooting fireworks from the shore. Travis would have (secretly) loved it.
I chose the letter S from the cookie sheet.
When it came my turn, I shared how my relationship with Travis was deep, but contained within trips out to West Texas. How we were close during these isolated and intense periods of time under a blanket of stars but not really so much back in the city. He was a faithful companion for many of these trips that concentric circles of friends would embark upon over the course of about a decade to my family's ranch south of Marfa. We all knew he was depressed and intuitively would invite him to come breathe the fresh desert air, clear himself and be forced to socialize with an intimate group of friends. As an accomplished photographer he would bring to life some of our most amazing experiences - a fancy dinner on the back porch of a dilapidated ranch house; hiking in Santa Elena Canyon; gorgeous nights under the stars, tea parties in the living room while the thunder, lightning and wind outside raged... I shared how he always sortof intimidated me with his smarts. And that I found him very attractive and loved being the one to share a bed with him because we both snore. Eight or so people in a four-room ranch house in the middle of the desert means you get creative and remain practical with sleeping arrangements.
I have fond memories of sleeping next to him and of sharing dream time with him in my grandparents bedroom. I adored our snarky banter about the taboo nature of our sleeping arrangements. I did my best to keep up with with where he was at with his depression on those trips to the desert. But in the end, no one could - even those close to him in the Default World.
I chose S for Sleep. Travis - wherever you are, may you rest in peace. We miss you. We love you. Sleep well. May it be so.
Periodic updates from Aurah in the Field.