Sunday, April 19, 2009

What Comes After

Today I spent in the company of a group of extraordinary people, a self-identified "tribe" of artists. These were Aida's people. And they have become mine as well. As different and deeply complex as seasons, these individuals create a world of possibility for themselves and for the communities in which they live and work. Like Aida, they are public artists and layer the external world with meaning and potential for all of us. I am honored and delighted to be named with them. Family. Tribe. Commune and crucible.

But all this has come at a price.

In many ways, I am now engaging as my own self in ways that I would not otherwise have done except for the experiences of these last months, including the death of my wife. I am who I am this afternoon writing this because of who I have been. I am gathered into the center of a new family of parents, siblings, cousins, and children precisely because they are the source of Aida; the holiday meals and dance of relation is now my ritual too.

In the same way, the tribe of creators and meaning makers is now my tribe, and that is also because of Aida. She gathered me to her mind and vision where we spoke a similar language and then created one of our own. We needed no translation. She introduced me to her people. And in their center I hear new words and imagine new worlds and think new thoughts that please me in the simple thinking of them. I am reminded that there even are new worlds.

This is a precious gift that remembers me to her, deepening the reach of her soul's taproot to mine.

I also find myself wondering if I might have come to this place in time with her by my side. Like everything else, it is impossible to know. I am still struggling to understand that the world moves on its own way without her and that I seem to have a place in it. I don't know where or who I might have been, nor who I am -- only that I am continuing. Becoming.

Tribe. Commune. Crucible.

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