Some days it feels like I’ve known & cared for too many people, I have too big a variety of circles of friends, mostly from music through the years. Many I’d see once a year maybe, in LA, at this festival, at NAMM.
Too many people I could one day lose.
Today I found out a 4th friend I adored yet didn’t get to see often enough has passed this year.
My friend, Dan Esparza. As with losing others this year, including a favorite fan, I was struck with such selfish grief like, “NO, I had more questions! I haven’t learned enough from him yet!!!” I choose friends that teach me in one way or another.
Facebook. At least I know soon enough to go to Dan’s Life Celebration. I’m thankful for that. I am certain with Dan’s spirituality he wouldn’t want me to be as heart-broken as I am, he’d counsel against it. But I can’t help it. And I’m comforted to know that as much as Dan loved life’s spirit & his family, because of his deep beliefs, he still let go peacefully.
Still right now, I can’t help being broken-hearted. I want to just put on my running shoes and jog & meditate & talk to God…running far, so far on this blazing hot summer day (it really IS only hot when I stop running), just to run the feelings out.
I bet I will do just that when I’m done here. So much to fully process.
There are no accidents in life, we are always exactly where we are meant to be. And life is short. Love is everything. And EVERYthing changes. These things are true.
I first met Dan after performing at a church In San Juan Capistrano probably 13 years ago, hm maybe more. It was early morning & I was SO hopped up on the joy of meeting people, the joy of God's spirit, the joy of music, and caffeine. I was a night owl traveling 7 performing EARLY morning so it was a LOT of caffeine.
Those who know me, know how I can buzz like a busy bee too. The energy of people & life actually makes me giggle.
And I met Dan, we had our first hug. He said something like I might "need to learn to meditate" & I think I went, "uh" 7 just buzzed away.
Eventually he was my friend 7 I listened, or at least tried to.
Dan, so wise, extremely centered, caring — a good, good man. A man whose friendship healed many. Many were lucky to have known Dan.
Dan’s friendship & healing helped me through some of the most difficult times in my life. Really, the first ever adult difficult time in my life too.
Years later, in our last deep phone conversation, (maybe 3-4 years ago?), when I called him in some turmoil, he explained that it would be okay, everything was shifting, all the ways we moved through life were changing, many had to see our “world” through a brand new paradigm. Even he was in a different career. We had to put away “what always worked before” & learn to do & achieve things differently. He said it was uncomfortable for everyone but it just “was”. “Everything has been shifting”. He said we’d earn our livings in different ways, & with so many other things we’d have to learn not to resist life, no painful delay by digging in our heals but instead relax as we grew into a new skins, for each of us our very own new world. And we would then eventually thrive again.
I get that now.
So today, a Saturday that started out at 5am & seemed by 7am that my worst immediate problem was a slightly sliced index finger that was making it difficult to play a song I’m finishing writing that has the melody of “Pomp And Circumstance - The Graduation March” interwoven into the guitar’s part.
There are no accidents.
The song is called, “This is Not Goodbye-Goodbhye”.
It’s about deeply celebrating friendship & yet how letting go & moving on are simply part of life. It’s truly a graduation song. I draw on the emotions & memories of emotions of high school & my best friend & then also the joy of friendship & angst of separating from my Up With People cast after traveling the world together for an amazing year. Oh, the tears. I’ll never forget my goodbye with Scott. Oh goodness, the tears. Deb. — In Belgium. Nanou, so many. Not wanting to let go of times & fun & beautiful faces that we knew we would miss so very deeply, but simply knowing it’s not possible for life to stay the same as we all went to different corners of the world.
That joyful sadness, yearning yet knowing, resisting… .
Just one last hug, ok ONE more…until finally…letting go...
As they say, there really ARE no "actual" accidents in life are there?
On this day, writing THAT song. Celebration of friendship, letting go… Finding out THIS day - by just happening upon the information that my friend, Dan has transitioned. It’s still surreal.
Thank you Dan.
Dan Esparza - This Is Not Goodbye-Goodbye